TalkingPointsMemo today is trumpeting a new McClatchy/Marist poll showing Obama edging Romney on both the economy and foreign policy. The nationwide poll of registered voters shows Obama ahead 2-points, 46-44, on being better able to handle the economy and 6-points, 47-41, on being better able to handle foreign policy. Overall, the poll shows Obama ahead of Romney 48-46.
Of course, the poll's sample undercounts GOP voters. Republicans make up 29% of the poll universe, a number far below their share of the electorate in recent elections. The overall sample is D +7, which would mirror the 2008 electorate. There is no way the composition of the electorate in 2012 is going to mirror 2008. Setting aside that and the fact that the poll is of registered voters--both of which suggest that Romney is probably a couple points ahead--the real story in the poll is Obama's continuing struggle with Independents.
Among true independents, who lean towards neither party, Romney is up 11-points over Obama, 44-33. Only 45% have a favorable view of Obama and just 44% approve of the job he is doing. Perhaps worse for Obama, Independents reject his latest tax plan by a 15-point margin. 51% believe the Bush tax cuts should be extended for all income-brackets, including the "top 2 percent", while only 36% believe, like Obama, that the tax cuts should only be extended for the "middle class", those make less than $250,000 a year.
Obama's campaign was propelled, in large part, by a surge of support from Independent voters. This is the latest poll to suggest that they are preparing to propel him out of office this year.
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