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Real Clear Politics has an interesting page that compares the state of the presidential race in national polls from 2008 with those of 2012 on a daily basis.  These numbers represent the averages of all polls on that particular date.

And what do we find?

That the standing between Obama and Romney today is almost exactly the same as the standing between Obama and McCain in mid-August of that year.

On August 9, 2008, the numbers were Obama 46.9, McCain 43.3.

On August 9, 2012, the numbers are Obama 47.8, Romney 43.9.

In fact, Obama's lead against Romney is slightly larger than his lead over McCain, 3.9% vs. 3.6%.

And this is true for virtually all of July as well.

Conclusion?  The dissatisfaction with the economy does not seem to be translating into  an abandonment of the incumbent by the voters.

A few caveats:  the chart doesn't account for voter enthusiasm, which might work against Obama, but it does include Rasmussen polls in the averages, which may mean Obama's numbers are actually marginally higher than those listed here.

Take it for what it's worth.  I realize it's still early and that the state-by-state race is what really counts.  But I think that this is a good indication that Obama is in a pretty decent position going into November.  It certainly beats having it be the other way around.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice diary (7+ / 0-)

    Well done!

    This is something I was wondering about and you've done the work to answer that question.  I imagine that the president is also in a comparable position at the battleground level... but that would be my next question.

    Bottom line is that in August ahead of the conventions, the president is in as healthy a place as he was in 2008.  

    I am not terribly worried about the Repub convention, although I expect a bounce for Romney.  I expect the convention to either be boring as crap or a hot mess when the crazies are unleashed.   I also don't expect Romney's veep to be a game changer a la Caribou Barbie, who actually did catapult Grumpy McSleepy into a temporary lead in September.  The good thing for us is that this year, the Dem convention goes later and can reverse Romney's anticipated surge.

    I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

    by Delilah on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 10:09:30 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the compliment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree with you 100% on the convention btw.

    •  I'm expecting Romney (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99, Delilah

      to go down a point or two with the GOP Convention that will be full of Newts and Cain, Bachman and Trumps. Visible fighting, Cheney's VS Palins, Palins VS ... well anyone that irks them.

      A bad convention, followed by bad debate performance by Romney, followed by either releasing .. or not releasing his taxes. He could find himself in the upper 30's by election day. And that's without 3rd party runners eating into a point here and there.


      •  I like the way (0+ / 0-)

        you think!

        I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy.

        by Delilah on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:03:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the role of the financial crisis (7+ / 0-)

    One thing to keep in mind is that Obama didn't really jump ahead until September and especially October when the financial crisis hit.  That put a big dent in the credibility of the Republicans, especially since broadly speaking voters tend to trust Democrats on the economy more than the GOP.

    Adam Weiss

    •  I hear you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I think that if the economy were going to hurt Obama further, it would be doing so now.  I think opinions this year are pretty well baked in, and only a major event of some sort is likely to shake the race up to any appreciable degree.

      I also believe that in recent times people prefer having a Democrat as president over a Republican, as evidenced by the fact that the popular vote has been won by the Democrat in 4 of the last 5 elections (and, hopefully, it will be 5 out of 6 soon).

  •  I Think That Voters Really Dislike Romney (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Farkletoo, TXdem, ZappoDave

    because he has no principles, no integrity, and will say anything or do anything to win.  This does matter to voters.  How can you elect someone you don't really know or can trust.  Who knows, Romney could accidentally cause a nuclear war between India and Pakistan on something he says, or cause Israel to decide to nuke Iran because of a careless word or action Mitt Romney takes.  We do know that Mitt Romney has no diplomatic skills at all, and this is very worrisome.  On the other hand we have grown to know President Obama these last 3 and 1/2 years and he did what he promised to do and that was to catch or kill Osama Bin Laden.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 10:36:47 AM PDT

  •  rasmussen brought it down today (0+ / 0-)

    For whatever reason the great Ras found a 4 point swing to Romney last night, while Gallup had Obama gain a point. I think all the publicity over that Bain healthcare ad may hurt obama, the media outrage is universal.
    Amazing the double standard!

  •  I'm not seeing (6+ / 0-)

    this Republican convention bounce for him at all; I predict the numbers will be rather flat.

    •   (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99, FG, MBishop1, leevank, Byblis

      He'll get a bounce. There's a lot of value to entire week of positive, scripted, earned media coverage. They'll bring out the wife and kids, all his umpteen thousand lilly white grand kids dressed to the nines in little Brooks Brothers outfits up there on stage while the house-speakers play some pop-country catastrophe by Garth Brooks or Faith Hill. The pictures will be good. It'll look like America of yesteryear. Mark Halperin and Peggy Noonan will wax poetic with some variation of "I think tonight was the first time we got to see the real Romney, he really let his guard donwn in an attempt to connect with voters, and I think it worked."

      The VP will have a great convention roll out, because not even Palin could F that up. Your first introduction on the national stage is a speech in front a huge adoring audience. The Dems won't hit too hard on the VP because they don't want to punch down to the VP candidate.

      Some cretin like Chris Christie will be lauded for "giving the base red meat", and the media will endlessly replay his attack lines.

      When that happens and there's no oxygen available to the Dems to launch a counter-narrative, You can see statstical bumps for a candidate in the polls.

      We bat last though. So don't get discourage when we lose the lead. We don't get a VP pick but we do have Elizabeth Warren, and I predict the media will be very shocked by her ability to connect and make quite a bit of hat out of it.

      •  This is spot-on analysis. Nice job (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
      •  They are only showing like 4-5 hours in total (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure I heard Matthews lamenting that the networks are only going to show like 3 hours in addition to the acceptance speech.

        This isn't going to be a televised in prime time, week-long, event for either party.

        Perhaps the cable shows will televise more, but their audiences are tiny compared to the networks. I expect the media buzz will be much larger than any bounce.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 12:45:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think... (0+ / 0-)

          ...that the first few days of conventions are pretty much a wash. It's the candidate's speech that usually results in a bounce.

        •  Oh I agree in terms of live coverage (0+ / 0-)

          But the problem is that it drives the political narrative for the week -- print, online, cable, and Sunday shows. And its almost all scripted and on message.

          It has an impact. There will be a bounce. There always is.

          But we'll get our turn too, and our message is better and more cohesive

  •  The Media ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would like the public to believe the race is neck and neck and getting closer as we get nearer to voting. This builds up excitement and in turn viewers.

    I've heard that August polls are actually just about what the election winds up as. It goes up and down and sideways from here, to wind up back where it was in August.

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