It’s too early for Republicans to start popping corks or for Democrats to start hanging crepe, but a new Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll should buoy the former and depress the latter. The survey shows Mitt Romney capturing 49% of the vote, while President Obama enjoys support from 44% of the electorate.
Taken in isolation the survey might be seen as an outlier. But a Gallup survey, released on Wednesday, seems to lend some external credence. It shows Democratic voting enthusiasm sharply down from 2008 and the same metric for Republicans markedly up. Whereas 61% of Dems claimed to be enthusiastic at the time of Obama’s first run, only 39% are enthusiastic now. For Republicans, the corresponding percentages are 35 and 51.
The Rasmussen poll also gives Romney a 6-point advantage—49% to Obama’s 43%—on the question of which candidate is better equipped to handle the economy. Consistent with this trend are a government report released today suggesting a slowdown in GDP growth and a new low in consumer confidence for 2012. When asked about the best solution to the spurring economic growth, 21% of likely voters said they favor an increase in government spending, while three times as many, or 64%, believe the government should cut spending.
The survey notes that Romney’s five-point advantage is the largest enjoyed by either candidate in over a month but cautions that it remains to be seen whether this marks a lasting shift or is merely statistical noise.
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