June 7, 2012

Wet Blanket? Obama leading in Wisconsin, Virginia.

Basking in the glow of a Scott Walker Republican win in the Wisconsin special recall election, it's hard to imagine that Wisconsin wouldn't be in play come the November presidential election.  Michael Barone did an excellent job of dissecting the exit polling there that said voters still preferred Obama to Romney .  The lesson - exit polling is still a flawed tool.  But today there is a new poll out by We Ask America that shows Obama is still leading in the state according to The Hill..

President Obama has a 5-point lead over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, according to a We Ask America poll released Thursday.
Obama leads Romney 48 percent to 43 in the first survey to be conducted in Wisconsin since Gov. Scott Walker (R) won his recall election on Tuesday.
That margin is unchanged from the Real Clear Politics average of polls from before the election, when Obama held a 49 percent to 44 lead over Romney. However, some recent polls showed
Obama with a considerably larger lead. The president led by 12 in a Marquette University poll released last week, and by 10 in a Reason-Rupe survey...

Is that a wet blanket for the GOP?  It might be.  We Ask America used likely voters, not registered voters.  Likely voter models like Rasmussen typically skew more towards Republicans than Democrats which means that bit of inherent Democratic advantage seen in many polls is already discounted.  The good news for Romney is that he leads among independents in Wisconsin in this poll.  Barely, but he leads.  The other good news is that 9% of voters and 18% o0f independents remain undecided.

The raw numbers don't seem to be available, but the Republican/Democrat/Independent split may have an unreasonable skew towards Democrats as polls quite often do.  So it might be a wet blanket but not necessarily.  Time will tell as more post-Walker win polling gets done.  And the Wisconsin poll did not happen in isolation today.

According to the fairly reliable Quinnipiac polling, there's also an Obama 5 point lead in the state of Virginia:

President Obama has a 5-point lead over Mitt Romney in the critical battleground state of Virginia, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
Obama leads 47-42, down from 50-42 in the same poll from March.
Not comforting, but the caveats do bode better for Romney than the headline in this case.  The poll is among registered voters, not likely voters - that should indicate the race in Virginia will be tighter than Quinnipiac is reporting. I was unable to see the partisan split between Republicans, Democrats and Independents but curiously, independents were breaking in the state for Obama 45% to 37% with only 7% responding they were undecided (Don't Know).  The other noticeable skew was women breaking heavily for Obama.  The poll is more of a wet blanket for me than the We Ask America poll, or the good news coming out of Michigan today.

Overall, polling or no, I'd rather be in Mitt Romney's shoes today than president Obama's.  The tailwinds right now are very clearly heading in one direction.
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