NPR Poll: Obama maintains lead in battleground in a close national contest

The latest bi-partisan survey conducted for National Public Radio by Democracy Corps and Resurgent Republic shows a close presidential race nationally, but with the President winning re-election.  His lead in the battleground states for an Electoral College majority narrowed from a 6-point margin in late September to a 4-point lead now.  With evidence of stable support in other state surveys, we do not see the election being settled by a close vote in any single state. 

The views expressed here are commentary by Democracy Corps and do not reflect the views of Resurgent Republic or National Public Radio.[1]

Our confidence in the President’s Electoral College majority is rooted in other findings that sustain his support in this twelve-state battleground. 

·         Obama has a net 10-point positive personal rating, while Romney is still negative at  -3 points.

·         Obama and Romney are at parity on the economy in battleground states (Obama more trusted by 1 point).

·         Taxes: Obama has a 4 point advantage.

·         Medicare: Obama trusted by 14 points over Romney in the states where this issue has been contested in advertising from both sides.

·         President Obama has a 6-point advantage (55 percent to 49 percent) on which candidate has a clear agenda for the future.

In states where both sides are contesting these issues daily—on the stump, on television, and on radio—it matters that the President is more trusted on these key indicators.  

This survey of the national likely electorate shows Romney with a 1-point lead, but we have reason to believe this same survey could translate into an Obama edge.  This survey likely under-reports Obama’s vote level with African Americans (91 percent for Obama), Latinos (55 percent), and younger people (51 percent).  Like many other surveys, this survey conducted by Resurgent Republic includes only 6.8 percent cell phone-only respondents, but we know those groups are cell phone-dependent. 

Consider this: almost half (49 percent) of the population aged 18-24 do not own a landline; that number is a full 60 percent for those aged 25-29, and 51 percent for those aged 30-34. Among Hispanics, 43 percent do not own a landline, as well as 37 percent of African Americans.[2]

Mitt Romney is in a position to be competitive because his base of Republicans, conservatives and evangelical Christians is very engaged.  Three-quarters (76 percent) of Republicans say they are extremely enthusiastic (10 on our 0 to 10 scale) while just two-thirds (66 percent) of Democrats rate their enthusiasm at that level.  Among conservatives, 72 percent say they are very enthusiastic; moderates are at 55 percent.  The same pattern holds true for age—79 percent of seniors are very enthusiastic, while less than half (46 percent) of young voters are very engaged.  Three-quarters (74 percent) of evangelical Christians say they are very enthusiastic.

The challenge is for the Democratic and progressive efforts to mobilize effectively to produce a vote for Obama’s re-election, despite the intensity of the anti-Obama vote.  With early voters breaking for Obama by 5 points in this survey, that could be happening.  This close national race is no doubt motivating in this final week.

Listen to Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic discuss this survey on NPR’s Morning Edition.  

 These findings are based on a survey of 800 likely voters conducted October 23-25, 2012, with an oversample of 200 voters in the twelve-state presidential battleground. The list of presidential battleground states is as follows: PA, WI, MI, NC, NV, CO, NM, VA, FL, IA, OH, NH.

 Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D, and Julian V. Luke, “Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2011,” Center for Disease Control, May 2012.

Share This Article

More From National Surveys