USA Today and Gallup jointly polled the Presidential race both nationwide and just the Battlegrounds. Unlike the CNN 15-state cut that included too many GOP states making the poll of little value,this survey of 12-states includes only two states outside my battleground but both are at least worthy of discussion. The 12-state survey included: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Nevada, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and North Carolina. Interestingly these were the exact states mentioned in my very first post. While I would dismiss both New Mexico and North Carolina, each at least has a basis for broader election discussions and likely cancels one another out from the overall margin. According to the write-up in USA Today:
In the 12 battleground states, the race is all but tied. Obama leads Romney 47%-45% among 1,200 registered voters in the poll June 22-29 — a tick closer than Obama’s 48%-44% lead among 2,404 voters in the rest of the USA over the same period. The swing states survey focuses on a dozen states that aren’t firmly aligned with either Democrats or Republicans. That puts them in a position to tip the outcome in the Electoral College. The states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
More than three of four voters in the battlegrounds say they’ve seen campaign ads on TV over the past month. They’re more likely to recall the negative ones, which have included a barrage attacking the president’s stewardship of the economy and depicting Romney as a heartless corporate executive. Nearly two-thirds have seen negative ads about Romney and almost seven in 10 negative ones about Obama.
Last week alone, the presidential candidates and outside groups supporting them spent nearly $15 million on advertising in the Sunshine State and other battlegrounds, according to data from the ad-tracking firm SMG Delta as reported by NBC. The Romney campaign bought $4.3 million in ads, and the conservative super PAC Americans for Prosperity another $2.6 million. The Obama campaign bought $6.5 million and the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action $1.4 million.
It’s about to get even more intense: The two sides are poised to spend $100 million on ads over the next month, The Washington Post calculates. Since advertising began for the general election, Romney and his allies have spent $85 million on TV spots, according to NBC/SMG Delta. Obama and his supporters have spent $110 million.
Republicans enthusiasm advantage
Swing-state voters are a bit more enthusiastic about voting this year than those living elsewhere, perhaps reflecting the attention they’re given in TV ads and candidate visits. Nearly half of those in battleground states are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president this year. Just under three in 10 aren’t keen about it. In the battlegrounds, the most enthusiastic voters outnumber the least enthusiastic ones by 17 percentage points. In the non-battlegrounds, the difference is 12 points.
The USA TODAY Poll shows that Republicans, who lagged in enthusiasm in the last swing states survey, have gained an edge now. That may reflect growing comfort with Romney becoming the nominee now that the GOP primaries are over. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 30% say they are extremely enthusiastic about voting, up 5 points from the spring. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 23% are extremely enthusiastic, a 3-point dip from the last survey.
Are we there yet?
Even so, battleground voters say, 4-to-1, that they are ready for this election to end already. They were asked which better describes them: You can’t wait for this election to begin? Or you can’t wait for this election to be over? Eight in 10 chose the latter.