Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor 2012 Presidential Poll
Inside the numbers:
- Barack Obama 50%
- Mitt Romney 43%
Inside the numbers:
Obama’s approval rating is 50 percent, with 46 percent disapproving.
Among likely voters who approve of Obama’s job performance, he leads Romney in the ballot test by 93 percent to 3 percent; those who disapprove prefer Romney by 87 percent to 5 percent.
Just 40 percent of white likely voters give Obama positive job-approval marks. But fully 77 percent of non-whites say they approve of Obama’s work.
Obama leads Romney among all non-white voters by 78 percent to 18 percent, drawing over nine in 10 African-Americans and slightly more than the two-thirds of Hispanics he carried last time.
Among whites, Obama wins 41 percent compared to Romney’s 51 percent.
The survey identifies 73 percent of likely voters as white, down from 74 percent in 2008; the remaining 27 percent were either non-white or refused to identify their race.
Among voters ages 18-29, Obama now leads Romney by 63 percent to 27 percent. The poll also found Obama winning exactly half of whites under 30, down only modestly from 2008.
In 2008, Obama won 47 percent of college-educated whites; the new poll shows him slipping only slightly to 45 percent among them. While Obama has lost ground among college-educated men (dropping to 39 percent in the new survey from 43 percent in 2008), he remains very strong with college-educated white women, drawing 50 percent of them (compared to his 52 percent in 2008).
Romney leads Obama among non-college whites by 54 percent to 37 percent, almost exactly the same margin as McCain’s 18-percentage-point advantage over the president with those voters in 2008 (when they backed the Republican by 58 percent to 40 percent). The new poll shows Obama winning only 39 percent of non-college white men and 35 percent of non-college white women.
The poll shows Romney winning almost three-fifths of white seniors, matching McCain’s strong showing in 2008.
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.
Overall, 48 percent say they believe the country is better off because Obama won in 2008, while 41 percent say the nation would be in a stronger position today if another candidate had won.
In a related finding, 47 percent of likely voters said they believed Obama’s economic policies helped “avoid an even worse economic crisis and are laying the foundation for our eventual economic recovery.” By contrast, 45 percent said that his agenda has “run up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.”