Quinnipiac/New York Times released a batch of three, new polls today (Colorado, Wisconsin, and Virginia), and I want to give each the care and love it should get, so I'm breaking them up into three posts.
Virginia... Obama 49% Romney 45%.
a. Obama's approval is barely underwater, 47%/49% for -2%. Nevertheless, right now that's good enough to get the job done and win outside the margin of error.
Big danger for Obama, though? His approval with independents sits at -16%.
b. Obama has an edge in favorability over Romney. Mitt is currently at 40%/44% for -4%, while the president checks in at 50%/46% for +4%.
That's an 8% edge for Obama.
c. Obama is killing Romney on empathy.
The president currently gets a 59%/37% rating on caring about the needs and problems of voters, while Romney gets a 44%/48%.
That's a 26% advantage for the president. Even though pollsters usually separate them, empathy is essentially an economic measure, since people tend to trust the caring person to do what's best for their pocketbook.
And remember, like in the jungle, everyone is pretty much out for themselves. Even if voters prefer Romney on the economy, at large, their primary focus is on themselves.
d. Obama leads Romney on health care, 49%-42%.
e. Obama leads Romney on national security, 48%-43%.
f. Romney leads Obama on the economy, 47%-45%. Indies, though, favor Romney by a huge 54%-34%.
g. Voters are more likely to think Romney focused too much on profits while at Bain (47%) than earning the kind of experience to create more jobs in an economy (43%).
In other words, the Bain attacks are working.
h. Overall, Romney leads Obama among indies, 50%-43%. That's a strong number for Mitt. Further, indies give him a +5% on his favorable rating, while they give Obama a -10%.
i. Gender gap. Women favor Obama, 54%-40%, while men pick Romney, 50%-45%.
j. Ethnicity. Romney pulls in a strong 1% among blacks.
k. Romney wins among whites without college degrees, 63%-31%, but they're tied among whites with college degrees.
Theoretically, Mitt should be doing better there, and it's fertile territory for his future efforts.
Overall: I wrote a battleground guide to Virginia in June and concluded that Obama would win Virginia if he was able to turn out his base. The demographic changes are just too stark. Nothing about this or any other poll I've seen since then changes that.
Virginia is a tough state for Romney. He can win the presidency without it, but