A new poll using a more up-to-date voter turnout model than most other surveys shows that President Obama’s lead over his potential Republican adversaries is much smaller than believed — and the race is “eminently winnable” by the GOP candidate.
In fact, the poll conducted for Newsmax by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research, taking into consideration current voter demographics, finds that Mitt Romney would defeat Obama in a “blowout,” according to pollster Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage.
Polls today generally are using the 2008 turnout model, with a pool of respondents similar to the last presidential election’s voting pool in terms of age, race, gender, and party affiliation.
The survey of more than 1,350 registered voters likely to vote in the 2012 general election, using data from extensive outside polling, more closely reflects today’s turnout model, which differs significantly from the 2008 model and thus is likely to more accurately reflect the true voting preferences of today’s electorate.
“This is a really exciting poll,” Towery declared.
“The model that we created is very reflective of where voters are right now, not in 2008.”
Insider/Advantage first conducted a poll using the scenario that turnout will be exactly as it was in 2008, then weighted the respondent pool as if younger voters, ages 18 to 29, cast their ballots in significantly lower numbers than they did in 2008.
Many pollsters and political analysts predict a much lower turnout by younger voters in 2012, citing their disillusionment with Obama.
The result: Obama gets 47 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Rick Perry if the turnout matches 2008, but drops to 46 percent against Perry’s 36 percent if younger voter turnout is lower in 2012.
Obama’s margin of victory is reduced by one percentage point in a head-to-head matchup with Romney, Herman Cain, or Newt Gingrich when the fewer young voters scenario is compared to the 2008 model, and remains the same against Ron Paul.
The age factor, then, does not immediately appear to be significant, Towery acknowledges, “but every percentage point is important in a race as close as the 2012 race is expected to be.”
Much more significant differences appear when the pollster considered a third scenario: If Republican voter turnout is significantly higher than it was in 2008.
In this scenario, Obama’s lead over Cain drops from 8 percentage points in the 2008 turnout to just 2 percentage points (42 percent to 40 percent, with 18 percent undecided); his lead over Gingrich is sliced from 14 points to 8 points; his margin over Paul goes from 11 points to 6 points; against Perry, from 12 points to 6 points; and Mitt Romney actually defeats Obama, 44 percent to 40 percent, with 16 percent undecided.
Higher Republican turnout is indeed likely in 2012, according to recent polls showing that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting in 2012 than are Democrats. And, Towery said, “Obama has lost a portion of his Democratic base and they will now vote Republican. We see an erosion of the Democratic Party in this country, in particular among white traditional Democratic voters in swing states like North Carolina and Florida.”
Presidential elections are “won state by state,” Towery added, “and the numbers tell me that Obama is facing a difficult time in swing states.”
The Newsmax poll also examined a fourth scenario: Younger voter turnout is significantly lower AND Republican voter turnout is significantly higher than in 2008 — two likely eventualities.
Then Obama’s vulnerability becomes starkly obvious.
In this scenario, Romney clobbers Obama by a margin of 45 percent to 39 percent — a “blowout,” Towery states.
Cain ties Obama at 41 percent, with 18 percent undecided — and voters undecided at this point in the election cycle are more than likely to turn away from the incumbent, or not to cast a ballot for any candidate, Towery observed.
Obama still holds a 43 percent to 38 percent edge over Perry, but again, 19 percent of respondents remain undecided and could tip the balance toward Perry. The same is the case for Gingrich, who trails Obama 37 percent to 43 percent, and Paul, who trails 37 percent to 41 percent.
The bottom line, according to Towery: “When the Republican nominee is chosen, he will certainly start out with a much firmer foundation than McCain did in 2008.
“No matter who the Republican nominee is, he can be expected to do as well as Cain does [in the fourth scenario], at worst, and the same as Romney, at best.
“This race is much closer than people realize, and is eminently winnable by the Republican.”
“Obama’s big lead simply does not exist.”
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