RCP Watch: New Jersey No Longer “Safe” for Obama?

As we talked about yesterday, the 2012 presidential race is already over, but that doesn't mean we still can't keep watching just to enjoy the anguish of fans of the opposing team. 

In today's installment, we have a new poll from Quinnipiac (pronounced  KWIN-uh-pe-ack, and not some other way) that shows Obama leading Romney by 9 points in the Garden State of New Jersey. On the strength, or relative lack thereof, of this poll, the right-leaning Real Clear Politics website has seen fit to downgrade New Jersey from "Likely Obama" to "Leans Obama":

New Jersey: Romney vs. Obama

Poll Date Sample Obama (D) Romney (R) Spread
RCP Average 2/24 – 4/9 50.3 38.3 Obama +12.0
Quinnipiac 4/3 – 4/9 1607 RV 49 40 Obama +9
Fairleigh Dickinson 3/5 – 3/11 800 RV 50 37 Obama +13
SurveyUSA 2/24 – 2/26 533 RV 52 38 Obama +14

You might think that they must have some rationale for this reclassification and they do.  They are in the "horse race" business and their view count will surely drop if everyone really and truly believed that the 2012 presidential race is already over.    

If this sounds too cynical and/or conspiratorial for you, consider the great Palmetto State of South Carolina:

South Carolina: Romney vs. Obama

Poll Date Sample Obama (D) Romney (R) Spread
NBC News/Marist 12/4 – 12/6 2107 RV 45 42 Obama +3
NBC News/Marist 10/11 – 10/13 2131 RV 40 46 Romney +6
PPP (D) 8/25 – 8/28 587 RV 38 53 Romney +15
PPP (D) 6/2 – 6/5 741 RV 41 50 Romney +9
PPP (D) 1/28 – 1/30 1167 RV 42 49 Romney +7

In this state, that RCP classifies as "Likely Romney", we find that Romney leads Obama by … umm … -3?   Yes white folks, avert your eyes.  The blacks and Hispanics are bound to stay home in November and the white evangelicals will surely forget that they ever considered Mormonism a cult.  And of course they will completely suppress the memory of all those anti-Romney ads that the Sheldon Anderson-funded SuperPAC "Winning Our Future" put in heavy rotation on South Carolina television.

Yup, South Carolina looks safe for Romney alright.  "Money in the bank", as he might say himself.



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4 comments to RCP Watch: New Jersey No Longer “Safe” for Obama?

  • BC

    Another nicely written piece, but polls are meaningless at this point.  Show me polling come early October and then we can talk.   We still have a little under 7 months until the election.  If you look at Euro problems, Fed's incessant printing, oil based inflation and Iran what the economy will look like in a few months is anyone's guess.
    The global economy is going to take a big hit in the next few years – the question is when.  Romney is nothing to write home about, but he understands economics something on which Obama and his team are extremely weak.
    With a stronger and more moderate Republican candidate Obama would get crushed ala Reagan/Mondale.  So the election will be decided on the economy.  The economy has certainly improved over the past year and this is good for Obama.  The challenge right now is oil prices and Euro jitters as either one can undo the recovery.  So the election will be decided based on where the economy is in Oct/Nov.  My gut is that it will be worse hence my feeling that Obama is finished.

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    • itaest

      Obama is finished. That is the hyperbole of the day. You are right in pointing out that the economy will not help Obama too much. But, it's neither your scenario, nor is it Tom's. The truth is somewhere in between and there is too much that can happen between now and Nov.

      The Atlantic seems to agree with you a little bit and states that

      the economic numbers suggest a tightening race, fought down to the last couple of points and states

      That suggests we simply will not know how it will all play out. There is no enthusiam for Romney among GOP voters and there will not be any – because there never was and he cannot become someone he is not, no matter how much he lies. The Huff Post thinks Romney needs some advice to win in Nov. And you will rejoice when reading this right-wing "Economist" article that agrees with you, but hey, it's not over till it's over.

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      • BC

        Don't agree that Rubio is the right VP choice for wooing Hispanics.  Romney needs a moderate Republican like Christie or other in order to get the independent/swing vote, but don't think Christie will run for VP.  Agree that the race is going to be tight.  Can't stand The Economist – too smarmy.

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  • [...] Of these, the only one that it made any sense to move was South Carolina. The others are solidly in the Obama and Romney columns, respectively.  What Real Clear Politics has in mind (and why they decided to not even acknowledge the shift) is unclear, although it is consistent with my conspiracy theory. [...]

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