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  • 1. Election 2012: A Brief Overview and Analysis August 27, 2012
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS Slide1. Political Context………………………………………………………….………..32. Views of Romney…………………………………………………………….…...83. 2012: General Election Preview………………..…………………………154. Battle for the Presidency: The Horse Race ……………..….…….…205. Battleground States……….……………………………………………...……276. Battle for Congress……………………….……………………….…………...34 2
  • 3. Political Context 3
  • 4. NUMBER WHO THINK COUNTRY IS ON THEWRONG TRACK TRENDING UP A Look Back August 2008 Source: ABC/WP Poll % As of August 23, 2012 Wrong Track 78 Right Direction 19 WRONG TRACK 61.8% August 2004 Source: CBS News Poll % Wrong Track 55 Right Direction 39 August 2000 Source: LA Times Poll % Wrong Track 36 Right Direction 56 August 1996 Source: LA Times Poll % Wrong Track 59 Right Direction 31 RIGHT DIRECTION 29.3% August 1992 Source: LA Times Poll % Wrong Track 68Source: Pollster.com Aggregate Data Right Direction 23 4
  • 5. ECONOMIC CONCERNS CONTINUE TO DRIVE ELECTORAL AGENDA: Mentions of The Economy Steady 45% 39% 40% 36% 35% 31% 32% 31% 31% 31% 32% 31% 31% 31% Economy 29% 30% 26% 31% 30% 30% 25% 25% 29% 28% 22% 28% 23% 26% Unemployment 25% 26% 25% 20% 17% 16% 16% 14% 15% 14% 15% 13% 13% 13% 13% Dissatisfaction 15% 12% 12% with gov’t 10% 14% 12% 12% 11% 11% Deficit 5% 9% 8% 8% 9% 9% 6% 7% 7% 0% Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July August 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 Unemployment Economy Dissatisfaction with govt Federal Budget Deficit What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today? 5Source: Gallup Poll, August 9-12, 2012
  • 6. MOST VOTERS DO NOT SEE ECONOMY RECOVERING OR GROWING Which of the following would you say most closely describes your view of the national economy? Would you say the national economy is… Strong and growing 5% In a recovery 28% Not moving 24% Approaching recession 13% In a recession 28% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Note: “Not sure” results are not shown. 6Source: GW/Politico Battleground Poll, August 5-9, 2012
  • 7. AMERICANS STILL BLAME BUSH MORE THAN OBAMA FOR ECONOMY Who do you think is more responsible for the country’s current economic problems – (Barack Obama) or (George W. Bush)? 60% 54% 54% 49% Bush 40% Obama 34% 32% 29% 20% 0% Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Note: “Both (vol.),” “Neither (vol.),” and 7 “No opinion” results are not shown.Source: ABC News/Washington Post Poll, August 22-25, 2012
  • 8. Romney 8
  • 9. ROMNEY’S POPULARITY STAYS LOW, OBAMA IS VIEWED MORE FAVORABLY FAVORABLE 49.5% FAVORABLE 43.4% UNFAVORABLE 44.9% UNFAVORABLE 46.5% As of August 24, 2012 9Source: Pollster.com Aggregate Data
  • 10. BOTH CANDIDATES AMONG LOWEST RATED IN MODERN ELECTIONS Oct 1988 Oct 1992 Oct 1996 Oct 2000 Oct 2004 Oct 2008 July 2012 68 54 57 56 56 Democratic 48 46 50 45 candidates 39 41 38 40 28 Favorable Unfavorable Dukakis Clinton Clinton Gore Kerry Obama Obama 58 54 54 56 54 51 52 Republican 43 43 40 42 42 candidates 37 37 Favorable Unfavorable GHWB GHWB Dole GWB GWB McCain Romney 10Source: Pew Research Center. Oct 1992 and Oct 2000 data from Gallup
  • 11. MAJORITY OF VOTERS FEEL ROMNEY IS OUT OF STEP WITH MOST AMERICANS’ THINKING When it comes to his approaches to issues, would you say that Mitt Romney is in the mainstream of most Americans’ thinking, or is out of step with most Americans’ thinking? AMONG REGISTERED VOTERS 51% 44% COMPARE TO: In the Out of July-08 Mainstream Step John 45% 42% McCain In the Mainstream Out of Step 11Source: NBC/WSJ Survey, August 16-20, 2012
  • 12. A THIRD OF VOTERS THINK ROMNEY IS TOO CONSERVATIVE Do you think Mitt Romney’s positions on the issues are too liberal, too conservative or about right? AMONG REGISTERED VOTERS ABOUT RIGHT TOO 40% CONSERVATIVE 34% DON’T TOO KNOW LIBERAL 13% 14% 12Source: Fox News Poll, August 5-7, 2012
  • 13. MAJORITY OF VOTERS FEEL ROMNEY CARES ABOUT THEIR NEEDS, SHARES THEIR VALUES, BUT SAYS WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR AMONG REGISTERED VOTERS How much do you think [Mitt Romney/Barack Obama] cares about the Romney Obama needs and problems of people like yourself? A lot 25% 38% Some 30% 25% Not much 20% 18% Not at all 21% 18% Do you think [Mitt Romney/Barack Obama] shares the values most Romney Obama Americans try to live by, or doesn’t he? Does 58% 57% Does not 34% 38% Do you think [Mitt Romney/Barack Obama] says what he believes most of Romney Obama the time, or does he say what he thinks people want to hear? What he believes 37% 45% What people want to hear 56% 51% 13Source: CBS News/NY Times Poll, July 11-16, 2012 Note: “DK/NA” results are not shown.
  • 14. MAJORITY OF VOTERS THINK ROMNEY WOULD CLOSELY FOLLOW ECONOMIC POLICIES OF GEORGE W. BUSH; FAVOR THE RICH If elected, how closely do you think Mitt Romney would follow the economic policies of George W. Bush? 60% 65% 25% 40% Closely Not Closely 20% 46% 19% 18% 7% 0% Very closely Somewhat closely Not too closely Not at all closely If Mitt Romney is elected Favor the rich 53% president, do you think the policies of his administration Favor the middle class 11% will favor the rich, favor the Favor the poor 2% middle class, favor the poor, or will they treat all Treat all equally 30% groups equally? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 14Source: CBS News/NY Times Poll, July 11-16, 2012 Note: “DK/NA” results are not shown.
  • 15. 2012 – General Election Preview 15 15
  • 16. PRESIDENCY, CONGRESS, GOVERNORSHIPS Democratic incumbent Barack Obama will be seeking a second Presidency: term in office versus Mitt Romney, the Republican opponent, seeking to become the 45th president of the United States. Republicans Democrats 33 seats being contested. Senate: Republicans need to win 4 seats 47 53* from the Democrats to gain - +6 control of the Senate. Republicans Democrats All 435 seats being contested. House: Democrats need to win 25 seats to gain control of in the House. 240** 190*** +50 - Governor: 11 governorships being contested. * 51 Democrats + 2 Independents ** 2 seats are vacant (MI-11, KY-4) *** 3 seats are vacant (NJ-10, WA-1, CA-18) 16
  • 17. The Washington Post - Kaiser Family Foundation Poll REPUBLICANS Tea Party Movement: Old-School Republicans: Religious Values Voters: Window Shoppers: 17% Pro-Government: 12% 28% 22% 21% Young Republicans with Working-class Most conservative of the More More female, focused on more progressive views Republicans who are GOP groups, with most male, white, educated religious heritage and on many social and fiscal highly religious and very identifying as tea party and wealthy, with conservative on social issues. They are more conservative on social supporters. Almost all in moderate views on social and fiscal issues. They female, less white and issues. But they are this group are married and issues but conservative take a more moderate less religious than other more open to the idea of white. They have a views on fiscal issues. view on issues of equality. groups. A majority prefer a larger government. The uniform desire for a They are the least religious Although they prioritize a larger government with smallest Republican smaller government with of Republican groups. the role of religion in more services, see group, with lower less regulation of business. They oppose raising taxes public life, they are not as regulation of business as income and less They think gay marriage on the rich and are fearful religious on a personal necessary and want education, they want to and abortion should be of increases to the budget level as Tea Party government to improve see an active illegal. They say the GOP deficit. Movement Republicans. the standard of living. government improve the leadership is taking the standard of living for party in the right direction. people. 98% 92% 92% 83% 58% 37% 6% 6% 9% 1%to vote forPlan to vote forPlan to vote forPlan to vote forPlan to vote forPlan to vote forPlan to vote forPlan to vote for Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Obama Romney Plan to vote forPlan to vote for Ob Romney 17
  • 18. The Washington Post - Kaiser Family Foundation Poll DEMOCRATS God & Government Dems: 34% Urban Liberals: 29% Agnostic Left: 24% DIY Democrats: 13% Mostly nonwhite, highly religious Mostly white, wealthier and Younger, socially liberal and Mostly white, have lower and live in the South. They are secular. They have expansive secular. They believe in income and more economically distressed and views of the role of economic individualism. education, with a high see a role for larger government. government, and social Most agree that people proportion in rural areas. They divide closely on gay issues. They support tax should take responsibility for These “do it yourself” marriage and abortion, oppose increases of the rich and their own lives and that Democrats are the smallest cuts to entitlements and support cutting military failure to get ahead is mostly of the groups. They are the increased spending to create jobs. spending, have favorable the individual’s fault. They only one to prefer smaller views of health-care reform are similar to Urban Liberals government, are opposed and favor gun control. on social issues. to gay marriage and are split on abortion. 96% 94% 91% 71% 21% 5% 3% 3%Plan to vote for Plan to vote for Obama to vote for Plan to vote for Obama to vote for Plan to vote for Obamato vote for Plan to vote for Obama Romney Plan Romney Plan Romney Plan Romney 18
  • 19. The Washington Post - Kaiser Family Foundation Poll INDEPENDENTS Disguised Democrats: 32% Detached: 24% Deliberators: 13% Disguised Republicans: 31% This Democratic-leaning group They have low interest in The smallest of the This Republican-leaning voted for Obama in 2008 and politics and are relatively independent groups, they group voted for John McCain supports him again this year. Its disengaged from the political are the closest to true swing in 2008 and plans to vote for members consistently side process. Seven in 10 are not voters. Nearly half say they Mitt Romney this year. Its with Democrats on issues and registered to vote, and few of do not lean to either members fit the demographic are more secular and urban. those plan to register before party, and more than six in profile of Republicans – Despite their Democratic the election. Nearly nine in 10 10 say they have always white, older, more male and lean, a majority say they have did not vote in 2008. They are thought of themselves as more religious – and align always considered themselves by far the youngest of any of independents. About half with Republican policy independent. the independent say they have voted for preferences consistently. groups, more Hispanic, with Democratic and Republican They are very dissatisfied less education and lower presidential candidates with the political system. income. about equally in past 82% elections. 79% 56% 34% 33% 28% 9% 13%Plan to vote for Plan to vote for Obama to vote for Plan to vote for Obama to vote for Plan to vote for Obama to vote for Plan to vote for Obama Romney Plan Romney Plan Romney Plan Romney 19
  • 20. Battle for the Presidency: The Horse Race 20
  • 21. AS CONVENTION NEARS, POLLS SHOW THE RACE IS NARROWING A Look Back As of August 22, 2012 Four Years Ago Today August 27, 2008 % OBAMA 46.2% Obama 46.5 McCain 44.7 +0.5 Obama +1.8 Eight Years Ago Today August 27, 2004 % ROMNEY 45.7% Bush 46.3 Kerry 44.8 Bush +1.5 Source: Real Clear Politics 21Source: Pollster.com Aggregate Data
  • 22. ROMNEY SEES NO IMMEDIATE NATIONAL BOUNCE FROM RYAN V.P. PICK AMONG REGISTERED VOTERS Presidential ticket % Support last poll % Support first Change before naming poll after naming (pct. pts) running mate running mate Dole/Kemp (1996) 30 39 +9 Bush/Cheney (2000) 43 46 +3 Gore/Lieberman (2000) 35 40 +5 Kerry/Edwards (2004) 46 50 +4 Obama/Biden (2008) 46 44 -2 McCain/Palin (2008) 41 43 +2 Romney/Ryan (2012) 46 47 +1 22Source: Gallup Historical data
  • 23. ROUGHLY SAME NUMBER SAY THEY’RE MORE LIKELY TO VOTE FOR ROMNEY AS LESS LIKELY AFTER SELECTION OF RYAN AS V.P. AMONG REGISTERED VOTERS More likely to vote for candidate Less likely to vote for candidate Does not affect vote either way 80% 69% 71% 70% 65% 58% 60% 54% +9 50% +21 40% 40% 34% +8 -1 +2 +13 28% 30% 25% 24% 22%23% 20% 20% 16%14% 16% 10% 7% 7% 0% Bush/Cheney Gore/Lieberman Kerry/Edwards McCain/Palin Obama/Biden Romney/Ryan (7/00) (8/00) (7/04) (9/08) (9/08) (8/12) 23Source: NBC/WSJ Survey, August 16-20, 2012
  • 24. AMERICANS GIVE ROMNEY THE EDGE ON THE ECONOMY & DEFICIT Regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me if you think Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would better handle each of the following issues? Obama Romney 60% 54% 53% 54% 52% 52% 52% 50% 43% 43% 43% 41% 40% 39% 40% 30% R R O O O O +15 +9 +9 +9 +12 +14 20% 10% 0% The federal budget deficit economy The Health care Taxes Medicare Foreign affairs Note: “Same,” and “No opinion” results 24 are not shown.Source: USA Today/Gallup, August 20-22, 2012
  • 25. AMERICANS GIVE OBAMA THE EDGE ON PERSONAL DIMENSIONS, SUCH AS LIKABILITY Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think each one applies more to Barack Obama or more to Mitt Romney? Obama Romney Is likable 54% 31% O, +23 Cares about the needs of people like you 52% 36% O, +16 Is honest and trustworthy 48% 36% O, +12 Would stand up to special interests, including 48% those aligned with his own party 37% O, +11 Is a strong and decisive leader 47% 42% O, +5 Would work well with both parties to get things 45% done in Washington 40% O, +5 Can manage the government effectively 45% 44% O, +1 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 25Source: USA Today/Gallup, August 20-22, 2012
  • 26. CANDIDATE SUPPORT TYPICALLY UP FIVE POINTS AFTER CONVENTION Post-Dem. Post-Rep. Democratic Republican Convention convention candidate candidate bounce bounce 2008 Obama +4 McCain +6 2004 Kerry -1 G.W. Bush +2 2000 Gore +8 G.W. Bush +8 1996 Clinton +5 Dole +3 1992 Clinton +16 G.H.W. Bush +5 1988 Dukakis +7 G.H.W. Bush +6 1984 Mondale +9 Reagan +4 1980 Carter +10 Reagan +8 1976 Carter +9 Ford +5 1972 McGovern 0 Nixon +7 26Source: Historical Gallup Poll Data
  • 27. Battleground States 27
  • 28. THE ELECTORAL MAP 12 VT NH 3 3 3 4 4 OR 7 10 MN NH 4 3 10 29 MA 3 16 11 6 5 6 20 RI 4 55 6 20 11 18 CO 9 5 13 CT NJ 6 10 8KY 7 14 11 15 NC MD DE 11 NM 5 7 6 10 3 9 DC GA 3 AK 6 9 16 3 38 8 29 4 Electoral Count (as shown): Obama: 221 Toss-Up: 136 Romney: 181 28Source: Real Clear Politics (as of August 27, 2012)
  • 29. OF THE ELEVEN TOSS-UP STATES, OBAMA LEADS OR IS TIED IN ALL BUT TWO, BUT MOST QUITE TIGHT (6/20-8/12) Obama: 48% (7/24-8/23) Romney: 45% (8/13-8/21) Obama: 48% Obama: 47% (8/13-8/25) Romney: 47% Romney: 45% Obama: 47% OR (7/31-8/22) Romney: 45% MN NH Obama: 48% WI Romney: 46% MI IA NV OH Obama: 47% CO CO Romney: 46% MO VA (8/13-8/23) KY NC NC NM Romney: 48% Obama: 49% Obama: 45% Obama: 44% GA Romney: 45% Romney: 44% (8/9-8/23) Romney: 48% (7/16-8/21) (5/22-8/8) Obama: 47% (7/1-8/5) FL Obama: 46% Romney: 46% (8/13-8/21) 29Source: Various Polls Accessed Through Real Clear Politics (as of August 27, 2012)
  • 30. WISCONSIN: HAS RYAN TURNED THIS STATE INTO A TOSS-UP? Obama Job Approval 2008 Results Approve Disapprove No opinion Obama 56.3% McCain 42.4% 46% 49% Source: Quinnipiac / CBS/NYT Poll, August 15-21, 5% 2012 10 Electoral Votes Obama vs. Romney 48% 47%CURRENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 7.3% July 2012 Obama RomneySource: Bureau of Labor Statistics 30 Source: Real Clear Politics Average, August 13-21, 2012
  • 31. FLORIDA: WILL IT KEEP US HANGING IN 2012? Obama Job Approval 2008 Results Approve Disapprove No opinion Obama 50.9% McCain 48.4% 47% 48% Source: Quinnipiac / CBS/NYT Poll, August 5% 15-21, 2012 29 Obama vs. Romney Electoral 46% 46% VotesCURRENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 8.8% Obama Romney July 2012Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 31 Source: Real Clear Politics Average, August 13-21, 2012
  • 32. OHIO: WILL IT BUCK THE TREND AS A SWING? Obama Job Approval 2008 Results Approve Disapprove No opinion Obama 51.2% McCain 47.2% 49% Source: 48% Quinnipiac / CBS/NYT Poll, August 3% 15-21, 2012 18 Electoral Obama vs. Romney Votes 47% 45%CURRENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 7.2% Obama Romney July 2012Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 32 Source: Real Clear Politics Average, August 13-25, 2012
  • 33. VIRGINIA: BLUE AND RED GO HEAD TO HEAD Obama Job Approval 2008 Results Approve Disapprove No opinion Obama 52.7% McCain 46.4% 50% Source: 49% Rasmussen Poll, August 13 23, 2012 1% Electoral Votes Obama vs. Romney 47% 46%CURRENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 5.9% Obama Romney July 2012Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 33 Source: Real Clear Politics Average, August 13 -23, 2012
  • 34. Battle for Congress 34
  • 35. 2012 SENATE RACES TO WATCH Republicans need to win 4 Toss-Up seats to gain control of the Senate if they pick up a seat in NE, while losing a seat in ME. This assumes they hold onto MA and NV. Likely Dem (3) Lean Dem (4) Toss-Up (8) Lean Rep (2) Likely Rep (1) ME* (Open) – HI (Open) – MO (McCaskill) – AZ (Open) – NE (Open) – Republican Democrat Democrat Republican Democrat PA (Casey) – FL (Nelson) – MT (Tester) – IN (Open) – Democrat Democrat Democrat Republican MI (Stabenow) – OH (Brown) – NM (Open) – Democrat Democrat Democrat CT (Open) – VA (Open) – Democrat Democrat WI (Open) – Democrat ND (Open) - Democrat MA (Brown) – Republican NV (Heller) – Republican *Former Gov. Angus King is likely to caucus with the Democrats if 35 he wins the open Maine seatSource: Roll Call, as of August 27, 2012
  • 36. LATEST SENATE POLL AVERAGES (6/13-6/25) (8/20) (5/3-7/11) King: 53% (8/15-8/21) Rehberg : 47% Berg: 49% Summers: 25% Thompson: 51% Tester: 43% Heitkamp: 44% Dill: 8% Baldwin: 43% ND ME OR MT MN NH WI MA (8/20-8/23) McCaskill: 47% Brown: NV 44% Akin: 41% CO MO VA Warren: KY 43% NC (5/7-8/19) Heller: 47% NM NM Berkley: 41% GA Kaine: 46% (7/16-8/21) Allen: 46% Heinrich: 49% (7/31-8/23) Wilson: 42% FL (7/9-8/21) Nelson: 47% Mack: 41 (7/26-8/21) 36Source: Various Polls Accessed Through Real Clear Politics (as of August 27, 2012)
  • 37. NO RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT HAS COME CLOSETO CARRYING 25 SEATS IN THE HOUSEPresident Re-Elected Democrats may in fact needYear Name U.S. House Net Gain/Loss to win more than 25 seats to win back control of House if1972 Nixon GOP +12 Seats GOP can pick up some seats1984 Reagan GOP +16 Seats Possible Republican Pick-Ups1996 Clinton Dems +9 Seats IN-2 (Open)2004 Bush (43) GOP +3 Seats NC-7 (McIntyre) NC-8 (Kissell)President Defeated NC-11 (Open)Year Name U.S. House Net Gain/Loss OK-2 (Open)1976 Ford Dems +1 Seat NY-21 (Owens)1980 Carter Dems -34 Seats NY-27 (Hochul)1992 Bush (41) GOP +9 Seats UT-4 (Matheson) Source: Roll Call, as of August 27, 2012 37
  • 38. GPG ResearchGPG has a full-scale internal research team offering the full complement of qualitative andquantitative public opinion research services. We use research to inform messagedevelopment and communication strategy, as well as to help clients assess and monitorcritical issues and track the effectiveness of strategic communication campaigns.GPG has a deep experience conducting research about complex political topics with diverseaudiences. We go beyond the standard Q&A, using innovative, projective techniques touncover key insights. The result is actionable research that helps shape our clients’ messagingand strategy. For more information about this presentation or to find out more about GPG’s research capabilities contact: Joel Johnson (jjohnson@gpgdc.com) or David Cantor (dcantor@gpgdc.com) 38