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With the Republican presidential nominating contest concluded in all but name only, Daily Kos and SEIU are now testing Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in weekly head-to-head matchups in our national polling. We're also asking about Romney favorability rating each week as well. Here are our inaugural numbers:

Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 4/12-15. Registered voters. MoE: ±3.1% (3/15-17 results):

Barack Obama (D): 50 (48)
Mitt Romney (R): 44 (44)
Undecided: 6 (8)
Unlike a lot of new tracking polls and regularly-recurring polls which kicked off this week, we don't see any erosion for Obama or any bounce for Romney. (Note that the trendlines in this initial case are a month old, but from this point forward, the numbers will be updated weekly.) It's a good reminder why you should never, ever get too worked up about (or too invested in) a single poll, especially in a frequently-polled race, because another survey is very likely to come right along with contradictory results. As my colleague Jed Lewison wrote in response to some over-heated reactions to today's New York Times/CBS poll which showed the race tied:
To those of you who are freaking out about this poll, or think it reflects some sort of conspiracy to steal the election, get a grip. First, the poll is fairly close to last month's NYT poll—Obama down one, Romney up two. That's not a big change. Second, you should never read too much into any one poll. Third, as fun as it would be to see a blowout election, Republicans didn't make the mistake of nominating Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. And fourth: it's April. There's a long way to go, and a lot of work to do. Even if this poll had shown Obama up by 10, that would still be the case. And finally, fifth, even if you can't wrap your mind around points one to four, the mere fact that you may not like these numbers is not prima facie evidence of a conspiracy, or evidence of any sort, for that matter. If you have an extraordinary accusation to make, you should bring extraordinary evidence, otherwise you're just living in fantasyland—and this is a reality-based community.
I couldn't have said it better myself. In any event, I'd also like to call your attention to a separate question we asked this week, in light of tax day:
Q: Do you think Mitt Romney pays his fair share in taxes, more than his fair share, or less than his fair share?

Pays his fair share: 28
Pays more: 11
Pays less: 48
Unsure: 14

And you know which income group is most likely to feel Romney pays less than his fair share in taxes? The highest earners (those making over $100,000 a year), among whom 53% say Romney's tax burden is too light. Views are actually fairly uniform across the economic specturm (and funny enough, the $100K+ crowd is also most likely to think Romney does pay his fair share), but the result is striking nonetheless.

P.S. As always, our approval and favorability numbers can be found on our weekly trends page.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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