Poll: In 2012 swing states, Obama is tied with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich
In 12 swing states in the 2012 election, Obama is deadlocked against Republican Mitt Romney, with 45 percent of the vote each, a new Purple Poll shows. Newt Gingrich also shows well.
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The poll of 1,436 likely voters focuses on Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Obama won all of them in defeating the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, in 2008. Since 1996, according to Purple Insights, nine of these states have shifted between the parties, and three – Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – have been determined by margins of three points or less.Skip to next paragraph
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Usher says the 2012 contest is shaping up like another recent battle.
“There are a lot of ways that this is mirroring the 2004 Democratic campaign,” he says, when voters flirted with contenders Howard Dean and John Edwards before settling on the establishment candidate, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Remember “Dated Dean, married Kerry”? This year, GOP voters might insert “Dated Cain” or “Dated Perry” or “Dated Gingrich.” But because he shows best against Obama in swing state territory, Romney might be the one GOP voters ultimately marry, Usher says.
Usher also notes that Obama’s fundamentals are weaker than President George W. Bush’s were in his 2004 reelection bid. Mr. Bush is remembered as deeply unpopular, but in the run-up to that contest, his national job approval ratings tracked more closely to the 50 percent mark than Obama’s are at the moment.
Meanwhile, one notable outcome of the uncertainty in Purple America is that it’s ripe for mining for an eventual GOP running mate – no matter the nominee.
“I’d think a Bob McDonnell of Virginia would be a no-brainer,” Usher says of the Republican governor elected in 2009 and term-limited by law. “He’s very popular; it’s a swing state. He’s a rock-ribbed conservative who is doing well in a state that’s trending more Democratic.”