Sixth in a Series of Maven Surveys of Political Experts Now Available
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — July 17, 2012 – President Barack Obama will win November’s presidential election, according to twenty-five top political insiders surveyed by Maven, the Global Knowledge Marketplace. Unlike “opinion polls” which measure political preferences among voters, Maven sought the opinions of influential political consultants, lobbyists, and government relations professionals about the outcome of the current campaign. Many respondents pointed to a languishing economy as contributing to Obama’s potential downfall, although the majority believe Obama will ultimately prevail despite this obstacle.
Maven’s previous tracking survey conducted in May of the same group of experts showed Barack Obama with a commanding lead, beating Romney by nearly 40 percent on the question of who is likely to win in November. That lead has tightened to 20 percent in the latest survey, reflecting a growing sentiment among respondents that Mitt Romney is solidifying his base and rapidly gaining ground. 60 percent of respondents believe that Barack Obama will win reelection in November 2012, down from 69 percent in the April survey and matching his total in the January survey. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney bounced back from a low of 31% in April before he had achieved victory in the brutal Republican primaries, to receive 40% this month.
The respondent pool includes equal numbers of 2008 supporters of John McCain and Barack Obama. One-quarter of all respondents believe the nominee of the party they supported in 2008 will lose in 2012.
“It was clear from the April results that Mitt Romney had a lot of work to do to convince political insiders that he could beat Obama in November, even with national polls showing a close race. In the intervening three months, however, Obama hasn’t done himself any favors. A number of well-publicized gaffes and anemic jobs data have put his reelection hopes in serious jeopardy,” commented Maven Co-Founder and CEO Wyatt Nordstrom. “The political experts we surveyed still think Obama will win, but even those who support him expressed serious concerns that if the economy doesn’t begin to recover, he will lose.”
As in previous surveys, participants were asked to comment on the reasons for their selections. Highlights include:
- Respondents cited the power of incumbency and a strong Electoral College advantage as key reasons Obama will be re-elected in 2012. One expert summed it up as follows:
“President Obama is at a more vulnerable point than at any time so far in the election cycle, but he’s still well-positioned to win. He enjoys the advantages of incumbency and of having been in general election fundraising mode while the Republican candidates were still duking it out for their party’s nomination. At this point, the composite polling I’ve seen shows him with somewhere north of 200 electoral votes “pretty much in the bank” (i.e. states either firmly in his grip or leaning hard his way) to Mitt Romney’s 100 or so.”
Another respondent added:
“I believe it is the President’s election to lose. He is polling much higher than Romney currently in swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania and is just outside the margin of error in… New Hampshire. Though Romney is up in the national polls, these swing state data points demonstrate how the President wins as he only needs to win one or two to defeat Romney who needs them all to win.”
- An additional factor cited as a reason for an Obama victory is a poorly-conducted Romney campaign. One Maven said it this way:
“The Romney campaign continues to lack any sense of a coherent message. The reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Affordable Care Act only underscored this. The Romney campaign cannot win on a platform of “not that…” He wants to repeal “Obamacare,” but won’t say what he’ll replace it with. In fact, when he does list the “replacement” components, they sound exactly like the bill he allegedly hates so much. Since winning the nomination, the Romney campaign has not come up with one concrete policy position. That’s a problem for them.”
- Although the clear majority continues to believe that Obama will win in November, several respondents noted that their convictions are wavering. Comments included:
“I do not believe Obama will win as strongly as I did several months
“I am not as certain as I was three months ago that President Obama will be re-elected…”
“If the economy remains badly stalled and Super PAC spending remains lopsidedly in Romney’s favor, Obama’s re-election may be in jeopardy.”
“I believe it is the President’s election to lose.”
- On the contrary, virtually every respondent who argued for a Romney victory cited lingering economic issues. As one respondent noted:
“As the economy continues to stall, the November election seems destined to occur in the middle of a second recession. The American public should go to the polls with strong anti-incumbent sentiment, particularly based on high unemployment figures, a weak housing market and little noticeable difference in quality of life over the last four years. In fact, a recent report stating that the average American has lost 1/3 of their net worth in the last four years should weigh heavily on the election. Swing voters in key states such as FL, PA, MO, OH and VA are likely to drop their support for Obama, throwing the Electoral College to Romney.”
“It seems clear that the primary focus for voters remains the econemy, and particularly the state of employment and unemployment. The current jobs numbers are indicating worsening on thse fronts, and voters are ready for a real change.”
This is the sixth in a series of surveys conducted by Maven leading up to the November 2012 election. Results are tracked to illustrate how sentiment among the respondent population changes as events unfold.
Members of the news media interested in speaking with the Survey respondents should contact Maven.
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