Zogby: Sandy Helping Obama With Independents

Friday, 02 Nov 2012 12:32 PM

By John Bachman and Patrick Hobin

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Despite President Barack Obama turning the tide with a five-point swing among Independents with his response to Hurricane Sandy, the race is still too close to call, pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax TV.

The latest NewsmaxZogby polling numbers show Obama, who was down three points just a few days ago, has pulled ahead by a couple of points.
Zogby said the president is “turning the tide with Independents.”

“He was down by as many as nine and 10 points nationally among independents and now what we see is that that’s a razor thin,” he said.

Watch the exclusive interview here.



“The governor leads by only three points among independents and it’s trending Obama. I wouldn’t call this big momentum but . . . he was down three points three days ago and now he’s up two. That is a five-point swing. At the same time, we do see him improving his numbers with young voters and hitting the 60 percent mark. And, of course, that’s very significant. It doesn’t match what he did last time but it’s enough to put him in contention. And right now I wouldn’t tell you to see your bookie with a thousand-dollar bet on Obama winning but it’s certainly looking better, obviously, more competitive.”

Urgent Poll: Cast Your Vote for Romney, Obama Early!

Obama’s lead is smaller when other candidates such as Libertarian Gary Johnson is included, who draws about two percent of the vote in the poll. Zogby explained the significance.

“First of all, two points, even one point, should be significant because these races are so close not only nationally, but in the battleground states,” he said. “So any votes that don’t go to either major candidate should be of concern. Anything that moves a few thousand votes in a state like Florida or Virginia or Ohio becomes much, much larger. At the same time, by and large, Gary Johnson is hurting Mitt Romney. And Dr. Jill Stein, the Green candidate, not getting very much support but hovering around one percent, is hurting Obama. So the two together make this race still a one, two point race.

Zogby said Obama’s job approval numbers are right where they were when President George W. Bush was re-elected — with 48 percent to 49 percent approval — and if the number moves up or down it’s enough to swing the election.

“Actually a week ago, several days ago, his performance had slipped down to 44, 45 percent,” Zogby said. “So you see this is an improvement. A 48 percent job approval rating is right on the border for re-election. That’s how close this is. It’s right on the border. If it goes up a point or his disapproval goes down a point that could be enough to put it on one the winning side of the border. Historically, this is where George W. Bush was in 2004 when he won re-election. So that gives you some sort of an idea.”

In terms of those who have already voted, Zogby said Obama has a slight edge.

“In key states — Ohio, for example — seems to favor Barack Obama and some other states like Virginia, even Florida favors Romney. In our poll, we ask those who’ve already voted who they voted for and they’re telling us nationwide that it’s about even slightly favoring President Obama at this point. But that is nationwide.”

Obama is trending in the right direction when it comes to which direction people feel the country is moving, with 52 percent saying the country is on the wrong track, down from 74 percent.

“It could mean that but a lot of this is about trending,” Zogby said. “That’s the important thing when you consider that just a couple of months ago the wrong direction was at 74 percent, 66 percent. For much of the year it’s been over 60 percent and now it has steadily gone down. It seems to have plateaued at 52, 53 percent wrong direction. That appears as if it’s trending towards President Obama but voters are still saying it’s not good out there.”

Urgent Poll: Cast Your Vote for Romney, Obama Early!

On the importance of today’s announcement of 7.9 percent unemployment, Zogby said, “It’s one of the factors. The economy is the most important issue in the election. The unemployment rate is the metric that everybody knows. And the fact is that voters told us a year and a half ago, when unemployment was at 9.3, that they could vote Barack Obama if it was 8.2 percent and that they would definitely vote for Barack Obama, 54 percent, when it was 8.0. The fact that it’s 7.8, now 7.9, suggests to me that like this poll, he’s this much ahead right now. But, again, if there’s anybody out there with a black limousine waiting to take your bet, don’t do it yet.”

But, he added, “I don’t think it’s going to be a game changer. Had it gone higher, it would’ve been; had it gone lower, it would’ve been.”

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