While the media does its best to spin out political distractions, Romney continues to make steady progress in the polls. Today, ahead of the GOP convention in Tampa, a new poll was released by The Washington Post/ABC. For the first time in the poll, Romney has taken a 1-point lead, edging Obama 47-46. Considering the poll has a D+9 bias, Romney looks to be solidifying his support among a large swath of voters.
It isn’t like the Washington Post didn’t try to game things for Obama. Like I said, the sample is a ridiculous D+9. As I have noted repeatedly, the electorate was D+7 in 2008. It is not going to become more democrat this year. Additionally, and infuriatingly, the Washington Post continues to report poll findings among all adults, rather than registered voters. Yes, the head-to-head is screened for registered voters, but every other question is simply screened for adults. This is so meaningless, it’s hard to explain it as anything other than an explicit attempt to increase Obama’s overall numbers. Yet, even among adults, Obama’s numbers look ominous.
Adults were asked about whether several issues would be a major factor impacting their vote. 50% of adults said differences between the parties on women’s issues would be a minor factor or have no impact. 50% of adults also said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s proposal to overhaul Medicare would be minor or have no impact. 78% of adults said Romney’s decision to only release two years of tax returns would be minor or have no impact. These lines of attack make up the bulk of arguments the Obama campaign is making against the GOP ticket. Yet, these messages are falling on deaf ears.
71% of adults, however, said Obama’s handling of the economy would be a major factor in their vote. Adults disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy by a 10-point margin, 44-54. Moreover, 42% of adults strongly disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. The intensity of the disapproval is striking.
Adults give Romney the edge on handling the economy and, by a 9-point margin, the edge on handling federal spending and the deficit.
Romney has one significant challenge, based on this poll: relating to people. People don’t seem to have a sense of the person behind the candidate. He needs to find a way to connect with voters. The polling trends are moving in his favor across the board, but that is more a reflection of the deep dissatisfaction with Obama. If he can dilute Obama’s advantage here, the polls will move quickly and strongly in his direction.
The media will continue their campaign of distraction. But, starting tomorrow, Romney will have an enormous mega-phone to go around the media’s filter. He can make his case directly to the public. The public is anxiously waiting to hear it.