Only seven months to go before the election, but these promise to be a long, expensive, sometimes painful seven months. With Mitt's win in Wisconsin last week, the last vestiges of doubt drained away from the GOP race. It will be Romney and Obama for the presidency.
On to the numbers.
Obama Job Approval
These have been volatile numbers over the past few months, but they seem to be steadying for the president. The RealClearPolitics average is here. Obama's approval now stands at 48.2%, a slight increase over the 48.1% from last month. His disapproval numbers have decreased from 48% to 47%. The Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll would seem to be an outlier at -7, with Gallup and all of the other polls showing Obama in positive territory.
As of yesterday, the Rasmussen Tracking Poll had Romney ahead of Obama by 46% to 44%, but again, that seems to be the outlier. When the other polls are tallied, the president leads Romney by 47.7% to 43.6%.
These numbers will obviously be close throughout the spring if only because the country is so closely divided by party. The election will ultimately be decided by a sliver of the electorate that somehow has remained uncommitted throughout the campaign. But the overall match-up numbers mean little in a very close election because the action is in the states. Whoever can squeeze out a victory in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina, or a combination of those states that delivers 270 electoral votes could also lose the popular vote.
Another state, Nevada, has been moved into Obama's column, giving him a 233 to 181 lead in projected electoral votes. The latest USA Today Swing State Poll shows Obama leading Romney in those states by 51%-42% mostly because women have moved to the president in great numbers since February. Quinnipiac Polls in late March show Obama defeating Romney in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Romney simply can't win if he loses all of those states in the fall.
Meanwhile, Republicans have moved into the lead in the Congressional Ballot by 1.4%.
Today's jobs report show a slowdown from previous months, but probably not enough to have an appreciable effect on the presidential race. The economy added 120,000 new jobs and the expectation was 200,000 or more. It's still growth, but we'll wait for April's numbers to proclaim a trend.
That's it for this month. Have a very Happy Passover and/or Easter.
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