There was dual story revealed in the latest CNN poll. As the economy gets better, President Obama’s approval ratings go up. The more Mitt Romney campaigns, the less America likes him.
The CNN/ORC International survey found that President Obama’s job approval rating has held steady at over 50% for the second straight month. Obama’s job approval rating gained one point to 51%, while his disapproval rating fell three points to 45%. His current approval rating is higher than it has been since late May of 2011. President Obama’s personal favorable rating was 56%. His unfavorable rating was 42%. The president’s likely Republican opponent in the fall, Mitt Romney, had a favorable rating of 37% and an unfavorable rating of 49%.
Obama’s improved numbers also helped the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party’s favorability rating went up four points (44%-48%), and their unfavorable rating decreased by three points (48%-45%). On the other hand, Republicans are having no such luck with Mitt Romney. The Republican Party’s favorablility rating was nearly identical to Romney’s (35% to 37%), but the party itself is even less popular than Romney. The GOP’s unfavorable rating was nine points higher than Romney’s (58%-49%).
All of this has added up to give President Obama an 11 point lead over Mitt Romney with registered voters, 54%-43%. Among all respondents, Obama led Romney, 56%-40%. Obama leads Romney by 15 points with Independents, (55%-40%), and by 35 points with moderates, (66%-31%). Mitt Romney’s inability to win in the South means that Obama currently leads in every region of the nation. President Obama leads Romney in the Northeast, 64%-30%, in the Midwest, 56%-42%, in the West, 58%-39%, and in the South, 51%-46%.
Obama leads Romney with urban voters (67%-29%), suburban voters (52%-45%), and rural voters (51%-46%). Obama leads Romney with men (53%-43%), and women (60%-37%). Obama leads Romney by double digits with all age groups, except voters over 65 years old. Romney leads President Obama with seniors, 51%-44%.
When you combine a personally popular president with a challenger who seems to rub people the wrong way, these are the type of poll numbers that result. Republicans want to deny that the economy is in recovery, but Obama’s approval ratings seem to suggest otherwise.
The biggest problem that Romney and the Republicans face is that voters don’t believe their enlargement that the bad economy is Obama’s fault. It’s been nearly four years since George W. Bush left office, but 56% of those surveyed blamed Bush and the Republican Party for the current state of the economy. This is really bad news for a political party hoping to sell their nominee as a businessman with the experience needed to turn the economy around.
Republicans needed an intelligent charismatic candidate who could lift the party up. What they got was an elitist who is campaigning for the presidency on one of the most negative platforms of the last 30 years. An onslaught of negative ads will win Romney the Republican nomination, but they won’t win him the presidency.
The one number that should jump out at everyone is that the Republican Party’s war on women is hurting their likely nominee. Obama got 60% of the support of of the female respondents. If this number holds at this level or grows, Romney’s chances of winning in November substantially decline.
A word of caution is necessary when discussing any national poll at this stage. Presidential elections are decided in individual states. National polling presents a broad overview of the country’s mood, but it isn’t a reliable indicator of how an election will turn out months in advance. The mood right now is leaning strongly towards reelecting President Obama, but it won’t mean much until we get closer to November.
Right now, President Obama looks strong, but a lot can happen between March and November.