Nationally, President Obama currently holds an impressive seven point lead over Mitt Romney, according to two new polls. That is equal to the margin by which Obama beat John McCain in the popular vote in 2008.
The Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll found Obama 50 percent compared to Romney 43 percent. The most interesting take away from the poll is that if Romney tries to make the campaign about whether or not voters are better off than they were four years ago it may not be a successful tactic. Obama is simply not Jimmy Carter, the two economic situations heading into the respective election are different. From National Journal:
The survey also shows why it may be difficult for Republicans to center the election on the famous Ronald Reagan question to voters that the party highlighted at its national convention last month: Are you better off than you were four years ago?
That question divides likely voters almost exactly in thirds: in the poll, 31 percent say they are better off than four years ago, while 34 percent say they are worse off and 34 percent say they are about the same. Romney, predictably, wins more than four-fifths of voters who say they are worse off; the president, equally unsurprisingly, attracts almost nine in 10 of those who consider themselves better off.
Crucially, though, Obama holds a commanding 57 percent to 34 percent advantage among those who say their finances are unchanged. One reason for that critical tilt in his direction: Voters who say their finances are unchanged also say, by a resounding 53 percent to 33 percent margin, that they believe the country has been better off over these past four years because Obama, rather than another candidate, won in 2008.
The other poll showing Obama with a seven point national lead is the Reason-Rupe poll of likely voters. When leaners are included Obama leads 52 percent to Romney 45 percent. The most interesting take away from the poll is that when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s name was included he got 6 percent. Including Johnson though didn’t seem to change the size of Obama’s lead over Romney. In a three way race they found Obama 49 percent, Romney 42 percent and Johnson 6 percent.