9/20: Obama Leads Romney in Iowa

September 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Election 2012, Featured, NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden receive the support of 50% of likely voters in Iowa including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan garner the support of 42% of these voters.  Only 1% is behind another candidate, and 7% are undecided.

“The gap between Iowa voters who think things are headed in the right direction as opposed to those who say it’s moving in the wrong direction has narrowed by more than half,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “This change is giving President Obama a boost in the state.”

Click Here for Complete September 20, 2012 Iowa NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Release

Click Here for Complete September 20, 2012 Iowa NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll Tables

Key points:

  • Party ID.  Most Democrats who are likely to vote — 92% — are for the president while most Republican likely voters — 89% — are for Romney.  Among independent voters, 49% are behind Obama compared with 39% for Romney.
  • Enthusiasm.  A majority — 51% — of likely voters are very enthusiastic about casting their ballot in November.  Looking at each candidate’s supporters, 55% of Obama’s backers who are likely to vote are very enthusiastic about casting a ballot while the same proportion of likely voters who favor Romney — 55% — express a similar degree of enthusiasm.
  • Intensity of support.  More than eight in ten likely voters — 81% — strongly support their choice of candidate while 16% are somewhat committed to their selection.  Only 2% might vote differently, and 1% is unsure.  Among President Obama’s backers who expect to vote, 82% are firmly committed to him.  This compares with 80% of Romney’s supporters who are likely to cast a ballot.
  • Gender.  Obama — 55% — leads Romney — 37% — among women who are likely to vote.  Men who are likely to vote divide.  47% are for Romney while 45% are behind the president.
  • Age.  Obama — 50% — is ahead of Romney — 44% — among likely voters under the age of 30.  Looking at likely voters between 30 and 44, 58% are for the president compared with 32% for Romney.  Among voters aged 45 to 59, 49% are for Obama while 45% are for Romney.  Obama receives the support of 48% of likely voters 60 and older compared with 44% for Romney.

Looking at registered voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 51% are for Obama while 40% support Romney.  One percent is behind another candidate, and 8% are undecided.

When NBC News/Marist last reported this question in May, registered voters divided.  44% of registered voters in Iowa supported Obama while 44% backed Romney.  Two percent supported another candidate, and 10% were undecided.

Table: 2012 Presidential Tossup (IA Likely Voters with Leaners)

Table: Enthusiasm to Vote (IA Likely Voters)

Table: Intensity of Support (IA Likely Voters)

Table: 2012 Presidential Tossup (IA Registered Voters with Leaners)

Majority with Favorable View for Obama, Romney Falls Short

53% of Iowa likely voters have a favorable view of the president while 42% have an unfavorable one.  Five percent are unsure.

When it comes to Romney, 50% have an unfavorable impression of the candidate while 42% have a favorable one.  Eight percent are unsure.

Table: President Barack Obama Favorability (IA Likely Voters)

Table: Mitt Romney Favorability (IA Likely Voters)

The Great Divide…Perceptions of the Vice Presidential Candidates

While 44% of likely voters in Iowa have a favorable view of Vice President Joe Biden, 43% have an unfavorable one.  13% are unsure.

When it comes to Paul Ryan, voters also divide.  40% have a positive view of the candidate while 43% have an unfavorable one.  A notable 17% are either unsure or have never heard of him.

Table: Vice President Joe Biden Favorability (IA Likely Voters)

Table: Paul Ryan Favorability (IA Likely Voters)

Obama Edges Romney on Economy…Prez Viewed Stronger on Foreign Policy

On the issues, Romney is no longer viewed as the “economy” candidate in Iowa.  46% of registered voters in Iowa say Obama will better handle the nation’s economy while 42% believe Romney will do the better job.  11% are unsure.  Likely voters agree.  47% of likely voters see Obama as better able to improve the economy compared with 43% who view Romney in this light.  10% are unsure.

When NBC News/Marist last reported this question in May, Romney — 46% — edged Obama — 41% — among registered voters on the issue of the economy.  13%, at that time, were unsure.

When registered voters weigh in on the issue of foreign policy, Obama — 53% — trumps Romney — 35%.  12% are unsure.  Likely voters have similar opinions.  52% think the president is better prepared to deal with foreign policy concerns compared with 38% who believe Romney is.  10% are unsure.

In May, half of registered voters — 50% — said Obama was the stronger candidate on foreign policy compared with 36% who had this view of Romney.  14%, then, were unsure.

Table: Candidate Who Will Do a Better Job Handling the Economy (IA Registered Voters)

Table: Candidate Who Will Do a Better Job Handling the Economy (IA Likely Voters)

Table: Candidate Who Will Do a Better Job Handling Foreign Policy (IA Registered Voters)

Table: Candidate Who Will Do a Better Job Handling Foreign Policy (IA Likely Voters)

Nearly Half Approve of Obama’s Job Performance

49% of Iowa registered voters approve of the job President Obama is doing in office while 43% disapprove.  Eight percent are unsure.

The president’s job approval rating has inched up in Iowa.  In NBC News/Marist’s May survey, voters divided.  46% gave the president a thumbs-up while 45% thought he fell short.  10% were unsure.

Table: President Obama Approval Rating in Iowa (IA Registered Voters)

Nation Needs a New Compass?

49% of registered voters in Iowa believe the country is moving in the wrong direction.  43%, however, think the nation is on track, a margin of six points.  Eight percent are unsure.

By contrast, in an NBC News/Marist survey four months ago, a majority of registered voters — 54% — said the country was moving in the wrong direction while 39% reported it was moving in the right one.  Six percent, at the time, were unsure.

Table: Right or Wrong Direction of the Country (IA Registered Voters)

How the Survey was Conducted

Nature of the Sample

Comments

One Response to “9/20: Obama Leads Romney in Iowa”

  1. pete kent on September 21st, 2012 6:51 am

    This poll has its problems – it oversamples Democrats based on registration and exit poll history by substantial margins essentially equal to Obama lead. When you have 90% of Democrats voting for President Obama each extra percent of Democrats sampled adds about that much to the President’s lead.

    The poll sample included a net excess of Ds over Rs of +5 (expands to +7 w leaners). But if you look at voter registration data for CO Republicans actually have the advantage by +1. That’s a swing in the Democrats favor of some 6 to 8 points. Exit poll data over the past 3 cycles does not justify the substantial Democrat lean in the poll. Republicans turned out in excess of Democrats by 2 points in 2004, while Democrat turnout exceeded Republicans by only 4 points in 2008 (an extraordinary year for Ds) and only 2 points in 2000.

    Based on the above I find the poll to be an unreliable gauge of where things stand in Iowa today.

    @petekent01 on Twitter

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