Deep voter dissatisfaction with the economy threatens President Barack Obama and incumbents in a dozen swing states, according to new polling Friday.
Indeed, 60 percent of swing state voters believe that their families aren’t better off than in 2008, compared to 37 percent who believe they are better off, according to a USA Today/Gallup survey of key battlegrounds.
These figures show that there is particular distress in these swing states. In non-swing states, only 54 percent of respondents said they weren’t better off, while 44 percent said they were better off.
The feeling of stagnation or deterioration in the economy extends to a broader question: by a margin of nearly 4 to 1, voters in swing states aren’t satisfied with the direction of the United States, an ominous sign for incumbents like the president.
Republicans also carry an enthusiasm advantage into the 2012 election campaign. By more than 2 to 1 - 32 percent to 15 percent - Republicans in swing states are more likely than Democrats to say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about voting for president next year, a good indication of whether a party’s supporters will spend time door-knocking, volunteering, donating money and turning out on Election Day.
Meanwhile, a majority of swing state voters oppose the president’s health care reform overhaul, with 51 percent saying it was a “bad thing” it passed last year, compared to 38 percent who don’t think it was a bad thing.
Despite the economic troubles that many in swing states are experiencing, Obama continues to draw on strong bases support. By more than 3 to 1, non-white voters in swing states would support Obama over Romney.
However, men and white, non-Hispanic voters veer sharply in the other direction. Only about one-third of these two groups approve of Obama’s job performance.
The result of dissatisfaction in swing states is competitiveness in potential head-to-head matchups between Obama and other Republicans. Facing Mitt Romney among swing state voters, Obama currently trails by one point, 46 percent to 47 percent. The president leads Rick Perry among swing state voters by five points, 49 percent to 44 percent; and leads Herman Cain by three points, 48 percent to 45 percent.
The twelve swing states polled were Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
The USA Today/Gallup poll surveyed 1,334 adults in these states on Oct. 20-27, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. The nationwide results come from a USA Today/Gallup poll taken Oct. 26-27 with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
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