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Demographics Against Romney, But Enthusiasm for Obama Lower than in ’08 for Key Groups

WHEN YOU hear the Democratic standard bearer talking about his views being the same as Romney on Social Security, then see an email confirming his contention, it’s hard to get excited when both men running for president intend to tinker with the social safety net.

Only 73 percent who support Obama say they are “extremely likely” to vote, compared to 86 percent who back Romney. Likewise, 84 percent of Republicans say they are extremely likely to vote, compared to 76 percent of Democrats. Among those extremely likely to vote, Romney actually leads Obama 52 percent to 46 percent. That’s up from a 2-point lead last week. Obama led 50 percent to 47 percent among this group three weeks ago. – Battleground Tracking Poll: Dems less thusiastic

Chuck Todd’s analysis of the numbers on “Meet the Press” was the best example of the challenge of the President.

MR. TODD: Well, remember, this was before the debate. All right, let me see Wall Street Journal poll and we have a registered voter model that had the president up seven, but we had a likely voter model that had the president only up three at the time 49-46. So the question is why. What is going on that has Republicans doing better and becoming more likely voters? Well, it’s simply an enthusiasm gap. And we’re seeing it across the board. Look at here in this first one; 79 percent of Republicans call themselves extremely interested in this election. On a scale of 1 to 10, that means they say there are a 9 or 10 on interest in the election, 73 percent of Democrats– look at four years ago. It was a 13-point gap in favor of the Democrats.

Let me go through some various voting groups. This is an important voting group. Seniors are an important voting group to Mitt Romney now. He leads them by about 10 points in our NBC Wall Street general poll. Look at this in engagement in the election. Four years ago, it was 81 percent, pretty high, even higher this time at 87 percent. And Romney is doing better among seniors than McCain did. Let me go to an important voting group for the president. Young voters. Look at this engagement level. 52 percent now that call themselves of– of voters, 18 to 34 call themselves extremely interested in this election. Four years ago, it was 72 percent. That 20-point gap. The president wins young voters by huge margins. He is winning them by some 20-plus points. But if you don’t have this kind of enthusiasm, they’re not going to show up to the polls. And then let me give you this last one here, because this is I think the most important one and that’s Hispanics. The president is winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70 percent mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59 percent now. It was 77 percent. What does that mean? The president got 65 percent, I believe, of the Hispanics four years ago. So even though he’s going to get more Hispanics, if less of them turn out, it’s a net zero. And yet you look at Republican enthusiasm up, senior enthusiasm up, it’s a huge problem. And by the way, all of this, pre-debate.

The demographic issue is what weighs Mitt Romney down. However, if the enthusiasm continues to lag with Democrats, with Republicans rising, can Romney overcome this disadvantage? Not yet.

If Barack Obama blows the second debate that could change.

Anecdotally, in northern Virginia, especially in Alexandria, since the debate the Romney signs have exploded across the landscape.

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15 Responses to Demographics Against Romney, But Enthusiasm for Obama Lower than in ’08 for Key Groups

  1. DocP October 8, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Yep, when Obama says that there’s agreement between his position on Social Security and Romney’s, what’s the point of many seniors showing up to cast their ballots? During the debate, Romney sounded far more reassuring to current seniors about the future of “their” Social Security than Mr. weasel word Obama and whiny Axelrod sound in their backtracking statements.

    Because Social Security is so important to seniors and near seniors, it’s one issue they’re watching very closely. While there are some “low infomation” seniors, equivocation by Obama on this issue will be deadly to many seniors who know there is no “crisis” in Social Security. The only fix needed is to raise the income cap for the payroll tax.

    Here we go again, snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Great job, Mr. President.

    • Taylor Marsh October 8, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      The demographics and numbers remain on Obama’s side.

      However, the sobering reality of last week’s debate has a long time to sink in before the next one, where Obama gets his footing or gets too aggressive to compensate, you pick.

      • Marie205 October 8, 2012 at 11:46 am #

        Obama has never been aggressive…that’s the problem. I don’t think he can be. But for the next to debate he needs to call out the fact Romney is a liar. And Yes, those vote for Mittens sign are spreading in Virginia, I’ve seen them as well.

        But I’ve also seen campaign signs for Obama, here.

  2. fangio October 8, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Ae real democrat would raise the cap; end of story.

    • Taylor Marsh October 8, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      You need allies on both sides to get it done.

  3. DocP October 8, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    No question that the demographics and numbers remain with Obama, and recognizing that the narrowing gap in the polls and the “enthusiasm gap” are the meme du jour, the fact is that the numbers in Obama’s favor appear to be shrinking. And the meme du jour may be prompting people to reflect on what they saw in last week’s debate – the sinking in process.

    As part of this reflection my husband points out that if Obama is too weak to confront Romney’s outright lies in real time, depending instead on later appearing campaign ads and fact checking articles buried in newspapers, how would he do in a national defense show down. I haven’t seen Drew Westen or George Lakoff weigh in on this yet, but if memory serves, they both asserted that voters are disturbed and turned off by seemingly weak candidates.

    Obama has a lot of work to do, both on style and substance, to close the enthusiasm and actual gaps. It’s a tough row to hoe because on style, he’s a great speechfier, aided by teleprompters, but a lousy extemporaneous speaker, and on substance he has few accomplishments or ideals he can draw from.

    • Marie205 October 8, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      “As part of this reflection my husband points out that if Obama is too weak to confront Romney’s outright lies in real time, depending instead on later appearing campaign ads and fact checking articles buried in newspapers, how would he do in a national defense show down.”-DocP

      Yep, I thought that would be a major issue with Voters. I kept thinking if Obama can’t stand up to a man named Mittens in person…then how in the hell will he deal with a foreign lunatic leader, in a nuclear show down. Romney was able to make Obama look weak and out of touch…thus his slide in poll numbers.

      But Obama still has two more debates to turn this back around.

  4. Jane Austen October 8, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    I think our President needs to do his homework like his opponent. I felt as though he didn’t even know what his “signature” healthcare law was about during the debate. Does he know anything that transpired during his administration?

    • October 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm #


      • October 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

        a very good reason not to vo
        te for Obama. He’s clueless in D.C.

  5. Jane Austen October 8, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I should have added that even though Romney was lying through his teeth he sounded as though he knew what he was talking about. The President appeared to be sleep walking.

  6. PWT October 8, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Obama leads among the 47%!

    • secularhumanizinevoluter October 8, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      “Obama leads among the 47%!”

      And that lead will be sufficient to send Mitt da Twit and Lyin Ryan(although after that “debate” Mitt is making a charge for the Lyin title fer sure) packing. Because Mitt da Twit was able to lie nonstop without actually drooling on himself he is declared THE WINNER!!!! For the moment, perhaps with the electorate that answers polls, he has gained a snap shot of credibility. Reality takes a little time to sink in. It is becoming widely and clearly shown and known that he lied nonstop. Let’s see where things stand after the rest of the debates. Looking forward to this election even more so thanks to our bet.

  7. October 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    What specifically did Romney lie about?

    What about all the lies that Obama has told?? like, Medicare will not be touched. I heard him say that myself.

    Don’t any of you have a problem with Obama lying through his teeth?

    • jjamele October 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      The funniest, and saddest, thing about reading the replies here are that there are so many posters foaming at the mouth at Romney’s LIES who seem to have very little issue with Obama’s…ummm, “adjustments.” Same goes with Romney’s “flip-flopping”- he has no foundation of core beliefs. Obama? He’s “evolved,” and besides, he’s being a “pragmatist.”

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