U.S. Jobless Numbers Dragging Obama Down in Florida

Romney beats president in hypothetical match-up as independents swing toward GOP
By: Kenric Ward | Posted: July 12, 2011 3:55 AM
President Barack Obama Poll

A slipping economy has Floridians moving away from President Barack Obama and warming up to Republican Mitt Romney, a Sunshine State News Poll shows.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters shows that 54 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing while just 38 percent approve. That result tracks with Florida voters' sour view of the economy, with 56 percent saying it has worsened in the past year.

"Clearly, the bleak economic landscape is not good news for Obama. This is quite sobering when you consider that the recession technically ended in summer of 2009, which really shows that people don’t believe we are out of the woods by any stretch," said Jim Lee, president of Harrisburg, Pa.-based Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.

Today's numbers may be even worse for Obama, considering that the July 5-7 survey concluded a day before the latest jobless figures were released last Friday. The national unemployment rate rose again to 9.2 percent as the economy added just 18,000 jobs in June.

"Obama’s negative job approval shows there is a major opening for the GOP to win the state in 2012, particularly when you consider that Obama only won by a close 51-48 margin last time," Lee said. "No president since FDR has won re-election when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent."

Economists calculate that the economy would have to add a whopping 250,000 jobs every month for the next year to drive the unemployment rate below 7.5 percent.

Lee said the numbers are working in Romney's favor.

"Romney is clearly running as the 'most qualified' candidate to get the economy back on track, while candidates like Michele Bachmann and others are talking more about issues that play to the tea party base -- spending, deficits, not raising the debt limit, etc.

"Romney wins Republicans 74-14, while Democrats are voting for Obama 71-20, but independents are still up for grabs, with Romney leading 42-38," Lee reported.

Touting his private-sector experience, Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, hammered Obama on Sunday, saying:

"In February of 2009 -- 29 months ago -- President Obama signed into law his $787 billion stimulus bill that would, the administration predicted, bring unemployment under 8 percent. Unemployment was at 8.2 percent the month the stimulus bill passed. The next month, it rose to 8.6 percent, and it has not been below 8.8 percent since. It has risen for three straight months, hitting 9.2 percent in June."

Attempting to inoculate Obama from further bad news, the president's senior political adviser, David Plouffe, told Bloomberg News last week:

“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers. People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’”

That line of logic -- which tweaks the Clintonian adage, "It's the economy, stupid" -- is dismissed by Lee.

Lee likens the approaching 2012 campaign to what happened in the summer of 2008. That year, Republican nominee John McCain's polling numbers collapsed under the weight of financial turmoil and a stock market crash.

"The current numbers have erased any bounce Obama got from killing Osama," Lee said.

Obama’s nationwide job approval is 47 percent, but he continues to underperform in key battleground states like Pennsylvania (41 percent in a VSS poll taken in June), Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and others.

In Florida, the president's ratings were best among respondents who believe the economy has improved (54-42 approval). But that small cohort amounted to barely 13 percent of the persons polled.

Obama topped Romney in only one of five geographic regions of the Sunshine State: heavily Democratic Southeast Florida (57-33). Romney held double-digit advantages in the Panhandle, Southwest and Central Florida, and a single-point edge in the Tampa Bay region.

"Next year’s election will be much closer for Obama, even if he manages to squeak it out," Lee predicted.

Nationally speaking, political consultant Stuart Rothenberg says poll numbers that favor Obama are based on reflexive partisan positions that do not reflect reality.

"Independents are a key swing constituency and Obama's strong showing among swing voters was one of the most important reasons why he did so well overall and in key states such as Ohio and Florida [in 2008]," Rothenberg wrote recently.

But he pointed to a Pew Research Center poll last month that showed the president's disapproval rating among independents rising to 51 percent (identical to the Florida number).

Significantly, Rothenberg noted, "Only 37 percent of Democrats said the economy is poor, while 52 percent of Republicans picked that description and 50 percent of independents called it poor.

"What's the deal? Are Democrats, who are often associated with more downscale voters, doing better in the current economy than Republicans and independents? That's unlikely.

"The more logical answer is that Democrats chose to say things aren't as bad as others see them because they wanted to be supportive of the president and understood that saying current economic conditions are 'poor' would be an indictment of Obama's leadership.

"Sometimes, our partisanship colors how we view reality, rather than our view of reality coloring our partisanship. That's an important thing to remember as we look at survey data," Rothenberg concluded.

Methodology: This statewide poll was conducted July 5-7 with 1,000 registered likely voters for Sunshine State News. Only voters with prior vote history in general elections 2006 and/or 2008 were contacted. Interviews are randomly selected and conducted from a statewide voter file using our IVR (or automated) polling software which uses a pre-recorded voice to ask the questions, with respondents then instructed to score their answers by using their telephone key pads. Interviews are closely monitored to ensure a representative sample of Florida's electorate is achieved based on geography, party affiliation, gender, age and other demographics; results are sometimes statistically weighted. The margin of error for a sample size of 1,000 interviews is +/-3.10 percent at the 95 percent confidence level, but higher for subgroups of respondents.

See full poll results and cross tabs in the attachment below.

On Wednesday: Sunshine State News Poll looks at voters’ job approval of Gov. Rick Scott.


Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 559-4719.


Comments (12)

Vas 5054a
2:34AM APR 25TH 2012
Good article, more like it, I hope you can still find good work. xyj
3:33PM JUL 12TH 2011
This poll assumes we'll see a 2010-type of electorate in 2012. 48% of respondents are 60 and older. 77% are 45 and older. If you think young people are going to turn out at a lower rate than they did in a mid-term 2010 election, then you ignore the history of young voter turnout in presidential years.
Devils Advocate
2:42PM JUL 12TH 2011
Fixing the economy is pretty simple. Start working for what is right rather than what you think will get you re-elected. Reduce the size of government. Reduce regulations that punish businesses. Cut the corporate tax rate to that of many of the other countries in the world, that would be about 15%. We would have an influx of about a trillion dollars come back into this country. Change the income tax to the fair tax and repeal the 16th amendment. Allow states to compete for business and most importantly get rid of Obamacare.
3:42PM JUL 12TH 2011
All of your solutions punish the middle and lower class, while further enriching the very rich.

A fair tax is a backdoor way to cut taxes on the rich and increase the tax burden on the middle class and the very poor.

I agree we should cut the corporate tax rate, but we have to eliminate loopholes in the process. But there is no way we can compete with slave-market wages of other countries. Lowering the tax rate doesn't fix that problem.

And second, we did a tax holiday back in 2003, and business just paid back derivatives to share holders rather than investing their money back into America.

States can compete for business now, so I'm not sure what you mean there.

Reduce regulations? De-regulation is one of the main drivers of the financial collapse. Nobody disagrees with getting rid of regulations that hurt job growth and offer little benefit to consumers.

Getting rid of Obamacare? All studies have shown Obamacare has only a tiny impact on job creation, and if anything the benefits of that law would more than make up for any loss of jobs.
8:22AM JUL 18TH 2011
The only studies that show Obamacare "has only a tiny impact job creation, and if anything the benefits of that law would more than make up for any loss of jobs" are from ACORN and other extremely liberal support groups.

If it had so little to do with job decreases AND would benefit this country, then why has EVERY UNION in the country been exempted from Obamacare? Why has almost every business in Nancy Pelosi's district been exempted?

The reason is that it will cause a loss of jobs. It was never about health care anyway, but just a way to increase dependence on the government. It is also patently illegal because it REQUIRES people to pay into it, or be FINED an equivalent amount. In other words, Obama and his Democrat cronies are FORCING another tax on us, regardless of the beliefs of the citizens of this country.

In relation to regulations, some need to stay, but many need to be removed. I own a business where I buy and sell and/or buy and rent out real estate. I purchase through short sales, yet this administration, as well as my state government, has seen fit to impose drastic regulations on me and my business. Not because of anything me and my fellow investors have done, but simply for political advantage. They had to LOOK like they were doing something beneficial, yet knowing full well that it is the CURRENT investors who are the only ones that can turn around the failing housing market, which is continuing to have problems. Sure, in some states, the housing market might have picked up slightly, but lenders are still having a tremendous number of late mortgages and non-payments. And, these are only the regulations ascribed to ONE segment of the economy.

Our illustrious Idiot-in-Chief and his cronies need to care more about the American people and less about their political lives. If they were to do that, then they would have a better chance of gettind elected next year. But, if they were to do that, they would have to turn their back on their own party, since the Democrat party does not give a damn about anything except power. The average American, they say, we don't care about them, but we can't let them know that, so let's find some way to lie and get them to believe it. We have nothing to offer in terms of help, so let's initiate class warfare. If that doesn't work, we'll call our opponents racists. We'll tell the women that Republicans are sexists and believe that a woman should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

When was the last time the Democrats offered ANY proposal to put America on ANY track, not just the RIGHT track. The last proposal the Democrats actually put forth that was not a denunciation of a Republican proposal was in 1993. It was soundly defeated and the Dems were driven from office. Since then, it has been nothing but bash the Republican ideas, instead of proposing any of their own.

Oh, there was one idea they proposed. It was Obamacare. That is what is going to drive them from office again next year.

By the way, Obama's purported purpose to tax the rich by repealing the Bush Tax cuts will have LITTLE to NO impact on the rich. What they will do is shift their investing around so that they have their money in the market for 2 years. Then, they can take it out and claim it as Capital Gains taxes, which are taxed at 15%. On the other hand, that small business owner, who has 10 employees will have to lay off some, as it will cost him immediate income, along with the money that is put aside for business contigency planning. So much for Obama and company caring about the middle class.
10:07AM JUL 18TH 2011
I am still waiting for the Republicans to put forth one bill that would create jobs in this country. There is no evidence that lower taxes will do this. Instead the extreme right wing has taken over the party and their sole objective is to defeat Obama. Their extreme ideology has replaced common sense and even alienated many moderate Republicans who seek compromise for the good of the country. This is bad news for Republicans. Recent polls conclude that Republicans are looking more like obstructionists and seen by a majority of Americans as losing in the deficit debate.

The health care system costs to much and clearly is not sustainable. With record numbers of unemployed/underemployed more people than ever have no health insurance. Those working have reduced coverage and will not be able to afford the co-payment in a medical emergency. Emergency rooms are filled to capacity with people that cannot afford health care. We the people end up paying for this as hospitals pass the cost on thus creating a endless spiral down. President Obama's health care plan may not be the answer but it at least tackles the problem of the uninsured. Republican's have no answer for this and deflect the question. Private insurance companies and HMO's are interested in maximizing profit's and this has proven to be at the expense of the poor and middle class. The health care business is not the same as selling a loaf of bread. When you need a heart by-pass you do not go bargain shopping for the lowest price. Allowing private insurance to ration health care is not the answer. Massachusetts residents polled favor their system 62% even with it's problems.

Regulations that serve no purpose and hinder business development should be eliminated. Surprisingly the size of government actually increased with Bush as president compared to Clinton and Obama. When it comes to the economy the Republicans have no credibility period. Most people...again this is being widely reported, still blame Bush more than Obama for the economy going over a cliff.
David Lane
8:44AM JUL 12TH 2011
Its time for Republican candidates to tell us exactly how they will "fix" the economy. Arey they serious about cutting social security, medicare and other programs? They should lay out their plans now so the people can figure out if they are in the corner of the people. Easy to criticize. The jobs have been disappearing for five years. Bush started the bailouts and stimulus programs. Florida had the bullet train in the bag. Lots of high paying jobs there. Oh, no we won't accept any stimulus money. Why do the republicans favor the rich. Why do they protect them? Lets see a plan here if they are so smart.
John Samford
1:09PM JUL 12TH 2011
Lots of plans out there. They vary from mild to wild, short term to long. Several candidates have put forth detailed plans. Bing (or Google, if you don't mind the malware) it and see what they are. I like the Cain plan best, although Bachmann's will work too.
Both are short term plans of the 'better to stub one's toe then keep kicking the can' sort.
What I would prefer is a freeze on Federal spending at 18% of GDP. Not a penny more. That is the Constitutional amendment approach and is a long term solution. I consider all the plans out there mild.
Wild would be eliminating the payroll and inheritance taxes and setting federal spending in arrears(2 years would be best) at what ever can be collected by tariff and consumption taxes. Do that and eliminate Fiat money and the USA will NEVER have Fiscal issues again.
That will eliminate social engineering by tax code and make the Left's political tactic of goalpost moving impossible. Since it would require a Constitutional amendment to put into place, it won't happen without a major crash.
That is why I am hoping for a run on the Banks. Short term havoc, long term blessing.
Junk Bond Ben knows his policies will create a complete cratering of the US Economy. He just knows hopes to keep juggling until he can hand the mess over in 2013. Then the economy will crash, leaving the mess for somebody else to clean up while he takes his gold and runs.
If normal people run on the bank, we will;
A) have money because we got there first.
B) force the ultra rich to look for windows to jump out.
C) cause the entire banking system designed at Jekyll Island to steal money from the public to collapse and be tossed on the scrap heap of history.
D) That will lead to commodity money, most likely gold or silver ( although Plutonium or Uranium might be better).

The last major commodity currency was the Byzantine gold piece, which would buy the same number of cattle today as it bought 1,000 years ago( at 99% pure by weight, the coins are worth much more then weight today). Now that is a hedge on inflation.
10:42AM JUL 12TH 2011
Romney 46%
Obama 42%

According to the attached poll results. Seems to me that leaves this thing up in the air.
9:18AM JUL 12TH 2011
they are serious about fixing spending and all the failed pet social projects of the left. Everytime they mention it the left screams "they are going to end your grandma's retirement" social security is not the target. Welfare bums and all the entitlements of being lazy is what needs to end. Not to mention that huge amount of pork the left must have. 78% of the military budget has 0 to do with the military.
4:48PM JUL 12TH 2011
I guess the polling only contacted person with landlines. Because 48% of the electorate being 60+ is a total misjudgement by this pollster. Even the exit polling data from 2008 shows 22% of the electorate was 65 years or older. A more realistic range would be 24%-28% at best for persons that 60 years of age or older. This polling methodology sucks big time.
8:51AM JUL 13TH 2011
There are so many "issues" with this "poll," that it's not even funny. First off...when your results are wildly different from those of every other poll...you might want to rethink your methodology. Nobody else is getting similar results at all. That's why an _intelligent_ person always looks at ALL of the polls, and uses the averages created at RCP...rather than relying on biased or incompetently executed ones.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.