Entries in Poll (31)


Majority of Americans Skeptical a Deal Will Be Reached on ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Poll Finds

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans don’t trust Republicans and Democrats to get along, it seems.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center finds that 51 percent of Americans don’t believe a deal will reached between President Obama and Republicans in Congress regarding the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the tax increases and spending cuts that will go into effect if there is no bargain. The poll found that 38 percent believe a deal will be reached, while 11 percent responded that they don’t know.

Republicans are more skeptical than Democrats, according to the poll. Among the 51 percent who doubt an agreement will be reached by the Jan. 1 deadline, 66 percent were Republicans, while only 40 percent were Democrats. And among those who believe that there will be a deal, just 25 percent were Republicans and 47 were Democrats.

Broadly speaking, the poll showed a general concern over the effects of the cliff. Sixty-eight percent of Americans said that they believe that going over the cliff will have a major effect on the U.S. economy, and 44 percent said that they believe it will have a major effect on their own personal finances.

The fiscal cliff is a combination of expiring tax breaks plus budget cuts that are set to take effect on Jan. 2, 2013.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


POLL: Slim Edge Opens for Obama As the Closest Contest Concludes

John Gurzinski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Barack Obama has inched to a slim advantage in the closing days of the 2012 presidential race, breaking out of a long-running deadlock with Mitt Romney to a 50-47 percent contest in the final-weekend tracking poll by ABC News and The Washington Post.

While still lacking a majority in vote preference, Obama has reached 51 percent job approval, matching his best this year; extended his advantage in better understanding Americans’ economic problems; and moved to within a single point of Romney in trust to handle the economy, reversing a 9-point Romney lead on the central issue of the campaign.

See PDF with full results and charts here.

In another potentially important measure, regardless of their own preference, 55 percent of likely voters expect Obama to win re-election, down from its pre-debate peak in late September but a majority steadily since last March. A little over a year ago, by contrast, when economic discontent was at full boil, just 37 percent expected Obama to win.

The outcome is far from assured in a race that has been the closest on record, by some standards, since the start of pre-election polling in the mid-1930s. Turnout is critical, with Obama’s slight edge relying on robust participation by Democrats and minorities and a competitive showing among independents. But there’s some evidence for it: his supporters are more strongly enthusiastic than Romney’s by an 8-point margin in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. That’s numerically the widest enthusiasm gap since early September.

TREND – The race between the two has been locked for months, averaging a dead heat in fall polling by ABC and the Post. Romney took the momentum after the first debate and extended it as recently as a week and a half ago. He reached his apex Oct. 24, a numerical, 3-point edge in vote preferences overall, including a 19-point lead among independents.

But that advance stalled, with Obama pushing back in key groups and on the crux issues of managing the economy and economic empathy. By early last week – before Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast – the gap among independents, potential swing voters in national elections, had shrunk to single digits, and Romney’s gains on the key issues had halted.

The trend in these closing days, in Obama’s direction, has been slight but consistent. In a rolling four-day average, vote preferences since Thursday have gone from Romney +1, to a dead heat, then Obama +1, now Obama +3. Today’s 50 percent for Obama matches his high among likely voters, last seen July 8. Romney’s 47 percent is his lowest, numerically, since Oct. 13.

The 50-47 percent difference is not statistically significant at the customary confidence levels used in survey research. But it’s likelier than not to reflect a slight Obama advantage, given this survey’s models of who’s most apt to vote.

This is in a race that’s been heart-stoppingly close. The average difference between Obama and Romney in ABC/Post polling since September has been one-tenth of a percentage point, numerically the closest in comparable periods in pre-election polls since their start in 1936. And it’s the first race since 1960 in which neither candidate has held majority support at some point, adjusting for third-party vote.

Romney’s key shortfall on issues has been his difficulty closing the sale on the argument that he’d outperform Obama in handling the economy. They’re at essentially a dead heat on this issue – Romney +1 – and Obama leads by 8 points on economic empathy, that is, better understanding Americans’ economic problems. It’s Obama’s largest lead on empathy since mid-October, widening the past week and a half after squeezing to just +2.

THE CURVE – Regardless of the trends on issues specific to this election, Romney – and the Republican Party more broadly – are on the difficult side of an inexorable demographic curve, the shrinking dominance of white voters in national elections.

Romney leads among whites by 15 points, 56-41 percent – but they account for just 74 percent of likely voters, the same as in the 2008 exit poll and down from 90 percent in 1976. A quarter of likely voters are nonwhite, and they prefer Obama by a vast 76-20 percent, including by 96-3 percent among blacks and 61-31 percent among Hispanics. A similar equation led to Obama’s election in 2008, when he lost whites by 12 points but won the presidency nonetheless. Turnout among racial groups thus is critical to this year’s outcome.

Indeed, given the still-large size of the white voting population, the slightest improvement by Romney in this group – to 58 percent support among whites – would move him into a 1-point numerical edge, given the turnout proportions in this survey. Three candidates have done that well among whites since 1976, two of them incumbents – Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George W. Bush in 2004. The third was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Romney’s already at his required support level among many whites; specifically, white women who lack a college degree and white men regardless of their education. He leads in those groups by a combined 59-38 percent. It’s among college-educated white women that he falls short; they now divide essentially evenly, 50-48 percent.

That difference carries across other measures. White women with college degrees approve of Obama’s job performance by 52-47 percent; other whites disapprove by 59-40 percent. More educated white women also are 12 points more apt than other whites to think that Obama better understands the economic problems of average Americans, and 11 points more apt to trust him over Romney to handle the economy.

These reflect gaps on social and economic issues in previous ABC/Post polls. College-educated white women are 14 points more likely than other whites to prefer Obama over Romney in trust to address “women’s issues”; 16 points more likely to favor legal abortion (as does Obama, not Romney); and a slight 7 points more apt to see unfairness in the economic system as a bigger problem than over-regulation of businesses.

The difference among more-educated white women contributes to the gender gap overall: Obama +8 points among women, Romney +5 among men. For comparison, Obama finished +13 among women, +1 among men, in the 2008 exit poll. While the shares have shifted, the gap is nearly identical.

PERFECT STORM? – While the presidential debates clearly helped Romney, a lasting question of the election will be the effect, if any, of Obama’s handling of the response to the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy. The president has won broad approval for his work on the issue – 79 percent in ABC/Post tracking poll data, including a majority of Republicans.

Impact on vote preferences is less apparent. Fifty-one percent of likely voters call the storm a factor in their vote; about half as many, 23 percent, call it a major factor. By and large, though, people who call the storm a factor are those who fit the profile of Obama supporters in the first place.

Additionally, while Obama holds a 10-point advantage in trust to handle an unexpected major crisis, that’s no different after the storm than before it.

That said, the disaster could have worked in subtle ways, for example raising the salience of the handle-a-crisis attribute. Among other results, Obama’s image as a “stronger leader” than Romney rebounded in the past week, compared with their July levels. And Obama’s core support has rallied; the number of likely voters who “strongly” approve of his job performance overall reached 35 percent in this survey, his highest since September 2009.

ENTHUSIASM – As Obama’s strong approval has advanced, so has enthusiasm among his supporters – 69 percent say they’re “very” enthusiastic about their choice, steady the last three days, up a slight 5 points from last week and on par with his strength of support in 2008.

Romney trails on this measure with 61 percent strong support, essentially unchanged since mid-October. Nonetheless that’s far ahead of John McCain’s strong support in 2008, and John Kerry’s in 2004.

Romney’s deficit in strong support is base-related, recalling the challenges he had winning support among some core Republican groups in the GOP primaries. Today, among Republicans who support Romney, 69 percent are strongly enthusiastic about him. Among Democrats who back Obama, strong support rises to 76 percent. Similarly, Obama’s strong support among liberals is 7 points higher than Romney’s among conservatives.

AND TURNOUT – The question is whether disproportionate enthusiasm produces disproportionate turnout. The campaigns have been hitting it hard; nationally 44 percent of likely voters say they’ve been contacted by one or both of the campaigns, and that soars to 69 percent in the eight states designated by the ABC News Political Unit as battlegrounds.

Romney’s been keeping pace with Obama in voter contact overall, an improvement compared with McCain in 2008. In the battleground states, in particular, 48 percent of likely voters say they’ve been contacted by Obama’s campaign – 51 percent by Romney’s.

Turnout’s not an issue for a sizable group: Using just the most recent (Sunday night) results, 31 percent of likely voters say they’ve already voted; more said they still intended to vote early. Looking at the past four nights among those who’ve voted early or planned to, preferences are identical, 50-47 percent, to those of Election-Day voters. That’s far closer than Obama’s 18-point advantage among early voters in ABC/Post polls in 2008. Then again, it’s a far closer election.

CLOSURE – Whoever does win will take the reins of a sharply divided nation. Ninety-five percent of Republicans in this poll back Romney and 91 percent of Democrats favor Obama; independents divide closely 48-46 percent, Romney-Obama. Obama wins 85 percent of liberals and 57 percent of moderates; Romney, 80 percent of conservatives.

Those divisions are reflected, as well, in expectations of who’ll win. Ninety-one percent of Obama supporters expect the president to win re-election; among Romney supporters, fewer, but still 71 percent, expect their candidate to prevail. That means that whatever the outcome Tuesday, many in this country will have not only their preferences but their expectations dashed – for whomever will govern, not an easy place to start.

Partisan divisions, Democrats-Republicans-independents, are 35-29-32 percent among likely voters; they were 39-32-29 percent in the 2008 exit poll. The ABC News Political Unit defines the “battleground” states as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Poll: Most Want ‘Obamacare’ Opponents to Move On

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Now that the Supreme Court has upheld President Obama’s health-reform law, a new poll suggests most people want the law’s opponents to drop their repeal efforts and move on to other problems.

In the latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 56 percent of respondents said they prefer Obamacare opponents “stop their efforts to block the law and move on to other national problems,” while 38 percent said they prefer those opponents “continue trying to block the law from being implemented.”

Kaiser, a nonprofit, independent foundation that studies health policy and opinions, polled 1,239 adults beginning last Thursday, when the Supreme Court upheld Obama’s health law under Congress’s taxing power.

Responses broke down on partisan lines, but independents who do not lean toward either party also preferred “Obamacare” critics drop their repeal push by a margin of 51 percent to 35 percent. Respondents favored the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law by a margin of 47 percent to 43 percent, Kaiser found.

Republicans, including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have campaigned on a plan to repeal the law after November’s election.

While the health law remains unpopular, Kaiser found a bump in support for it after the Supreme Court’s decision. In Kaiser’s polling, the respondents were, 41 percent to 41 percent, on whether they support or oppose the law. That was an increase in support from May, when Kaiser found respondents opposed the law 44 percent to 37 percent.

A separate poll released today corroborated that bump, with opposition slipping from 57 percent to 52 percent and support increasing from 43 percent to 48 percent.

The health law saw a similar bump when it passed Congress in March 2010. The law was unpopular before Congress passed it and Obama signed it, but Gallup showed a brief moment in which poll respondents favored the law immediately after its victory. A week later, it was unpopular again.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gov. Chris Christie’s Favorability in New Jersey Is on the Rise

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose name is mentioned most often these days as a potential VP candidate on the Republican ticket, is gaining in popularity in his home state. A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll out Tuesday reveals he is more popular than he has ever been since taking office in January 2010.

Half of New Jersey voters say they have a favorable view of the veepstakes contender, up four percentage points since March. Garden State voters with an unfavorable opinion of Christie declined to 39 percent, while 11 percent have no opinion of the tough-talking governor. August of last year was the governor’s low point, with 47 percent viewing him unfavorably and 45 percent favorably.

More good news from the latest poll: Just over half of voters now say New Jersey is going in the right direction, also up four points. Those who believe the state is going in the “wrong direction” remained at 40 percent in the survey while nine percent were unsure.

“After some weakening between November and March, Governor Christie’s favorability rating has rebounded to as positive as we’ve seen,” poll director David Redlawsk, a professor of political science at Rutgers, said in a statement. “Despite recent controversies over plans for Rutgers and less-than-positive economic news, voters are trending toward more positive ratings for the governor and the state. But more improvement will probably require more voters to think things are getting better, not just standing still.”

Despite some back and forth on whether he is interested in the job, Christie has said he’s “not looking to become vice president.” But he also said the presumptive GOP nominee “might be able to convince me.”  However, the better Christie polls in his state, the less likely he is to want to join the ticket. With these poll numbers, his 2013 re-election battle could be an easy one.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign: CBS/NYT Poll "Significantly Biased"

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama campaign is on the offensive against the findings of a New York Times/CBS News poll, which shows Romney up among women and two-thirds saying Obama's marriage shift was politically motivated.

Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter on Tuesday repeatedly blasted the methodology as "significantly biased."

"We can't put the methodology of that poll aside because the methodology was significantly biased. It is a biased sample," she said on MSNBC. "They sampled a biased sample, so they re-biased the same sample. So I think that the results of that poll are pretty odd."

Monday night, Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt called the methodology "weird."

"Aside from being outlier, CBS/NYT poll used weird methodology -- same voters as last month, reached fewer of them, more IDed as GOP," he tweeted.

"Latest CNN poll showed @BarackObama up 16 among women. State polls show big advantage among women. Be wary of any poll that doesn't," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Poll Finds Romney with Comfortable Lead in Wisconsin

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- Mitt Romney has erased Rick Santorum’s lead in Wisconsin a week before the state’s Republican presidential primary, surging to a comfortable margin, according to a new poll from Marquette Law School.

The poll shows Romney with 39 percent and Santorum at 31 percent. Ron Paul was at 11 percent in the state, and Newt Gingrich at five percent.

In late February, the previous poll by the school found Santorum with a huge advantage in the state: 34 percent to Romney’s 18 percent.

Romney’s boost has likely been helped by a huge influx of cash from his campaign and his super PAC, Restore Our Future. Romney and his allies have spent a combined total of $3.02 million on advertising in the state, according to a source tracking GOP media buys.

Santorum and his super PAC, Red White and Blue Fund, have spent considerably less -- $358,625, according to the same media tracking source.

There are 42 delegates at stake in Wisconsin’s primary, and they will be awarded on a winner-take-all scheme, raising the stakes for all the candidates.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Up in Swing States Regardless of Unpopular Health Care Law

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- A pair of new polls shows President Obama’s standing on the rise with battleground state voters even as his signature health care overhaul appears increasingly unpopular.

Obama’s approval rating in 12 key general election states stands at 53 percent in a George Washington University/Politico poll conducted Feb. 19-22. Forty-five percent disapprove of the president.

Obama also holds double-digit leads over his two most likely Republican challengers, edging Mitt Romney 53 to 43 percent and Rick Santorum 53 to 42 percent.

The poll, which covers Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 points.

The findings reflect a significant turnaround for Obama, who received a 44 percent approval rating from voters in the same survey four months ago and has been neck and neck with his GOP rivals in general election matchups.

Analysts cite a recent string of positive economic indicators and an increasingly bruising GOP primary that has forced the candidates further to the right with helping to boost Obama’s favorability.

Meanwhile, the majority of voters in the same states say Obama’s health care overhaul is a “bad thing” and if a Republican wins the White House, they would favor the law’s repeal.  The dynamic presents a potential challenge for wooing critical independents.

Seventy-two percent of swing-state voters in a USA Today/Gallup poll said early provisions of the law have had no effect on their health care situation, while 42 percent said full implementation after 2014 would likely make their situation worse.

Three in four also believe the individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.

The USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Feb. 14-21, has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fla. Poll: Gingrich and Romney in Close Race in the Sunshine State

Ethan Miller/Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(NAPLES, Fla.) -- A new CNN-Time magazine-Opinion Research Corporation poll out on Wednesday shows Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a statistical dead heat for the lead in Florida less than a week before voters here cast their ballots.

Romney is laying claim to 36-percent support compared to 34 percent for Gingrich.

But, like other polls out within the last few days, the survey shows Gingrich taking a large bite out of Romney’s lead here just within the last week. In another CNN-Time-ORC poll taken Jan. 13-17, Romney stood at 43 percent with Gingrich trailing at 18 percent.

Wednesday’s poll, which was taken from Jan. 22-24, shows something of a silver lining for Romney.

On the first day pollsters were out in the field (Sunday) Gingrich was up 38 percent to 32 percent, but on the second two days (Monday and Tuesday) it was Romney who had the advantage, 38 percent to 29 percent. It’s more evidence that Monday’s GOP debate in Tampa helped Romney and that Newt-mentum may be ebbing.

Romney insiders also believe polls show a slight trend in their direction.  But the volatility of this year’s campaign season makes them feel this is no slam-dunk. They need to have a strong week and, most important, a strong debate Thursday night in Jacksonville.

In Wednesday’s poll former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum dropped eight percentage points, slipping from 19 percent in mid-January to 11 percent Wednesday. Ron Paul, who is not competing in Florida, is going nowhere in the Sunshine State: he’s held steady at nine percent from one week ago.

The fresh CNN-Time-ORC results track closely with a new Quinnipiac University poll of likely Florida voters out on Wednesday morning that also showed Romney at 36 percent compared to 34 percent for Gingrich.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Maintains Lead in New Hampshire

James Devaney/WireImage(BOSTON) -- Mitt Romney is holding a sizeable lead in New Hampshire with a hypothetical 39 percent of the vote, according to a Boston Globe poll released Sunday.

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are tied for second place, with each garnering 17 percent of the vote among the state’s likely Republican voters.

Jon Huntsman is the only other candidate to break into double-digits with 11 percent of support.

All other candidates are in the single digits.

Romney leads among all groups of GOP voters, including those who support the Tea Party and those who consider themselves to be conservative. He also takes a quarter of the independent vote, though Paul is the leader among this group of voters with 36 percent.

Gingrich does lead Romney in one category, however. Twenty percent of GOP primary voters said they would not vote for Gingrich under “any circumstances.” Paul is a close second with 17 percent. Just 9 percent of voters feel this way about Romney.

Romney is also top vote getter in the category of “most likely to flip-flop” with 36 percent. Gingrich comes in second with 22 percent.

Twenty-seven percent of people say it is important/very important that they personally meet a candidate. Thirty-five percent say it’s “not important at all,” a blow to the theory that retail politics is the only way to campaign in the Granite State.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Leads in Des Moines Register Poll, Romney Drops to Third

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Newt Gingrich is now the frontrunner in the first caucus state of Iowa, according to a Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night.

With only a month before the caucuses, the former Speaker of the House received 25 percent support of likely Republican caucus-goers, up from only 7 percent in the Register’s last poll in October. Ron Paul came in second place with 18 percent support, and Mitt Romney was third with 16 percent support.

Caucus campaign veteran and current spokesman for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Tim Albrecht calls the results an “accurate snapshot” of what’s going on here on the ground, but Albrecht says now it’s Gingrich’s turn to play the expectations game.

“The poll places Newt Gingrich in a must-win position with regard to the Iowa caucuses,” said Albrecht, who is currently unaligned but served as Romney’s communications director last cycle in the state. “The question is if he can build the ground game necessary to be successful. Time will tell.”

The poll was taken before Herman Cain’s suspension of his campaign Saturday and he received 8 percent of the support, the same as Michele Bachmann. But the fact that 11 percent of those polled remained undecided, while 60 percent may still change their mind, combined with Cain being now out of the running means the race is still very much up in the air.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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