The three key states that the GOP must win to have a chance to beat Obama are: Virginia, Ohio, and Florida. The latest polling data from Quinnipac shows the following:
- Virginia: Obama 50, Romney 42
- Florida: Obama 49, Romney 42
- Ohio: Obama 47, Romney 41
When breaking down the polls, when voters were asked about the favorability of the Democratic Party, they were split down the middle. However, when asked about the GOP, voters found the GOP to be unfavorable by about 10 points. In Florida, Rick Scott has a 36% approval and a 52% dissapproval. In Ohio, John Kasich is at 42/42. In FL and OH, the percent satisfied is about 30%. IN FL and OH 70% considers the US to be in a recession. In Virginia, Obama beats a Romney/McDonnel ticket 50 – 43. Tim Kaine is up by 47 – 44% over George Allen for Senate. In Virginia, Romney is viewed favorable by 36% and unfavorable by 43%; Obama is at 51% favorable 44% unfavorable. Romney wins Whites in Virginia 54-36, but loses blacks 5 to 95. Obama wins military families with incomes under 100K, Romney wins those with incomes with over 100K by 47 to 46%, only 1 point. Overall, military voters are voting against Romney in Virginia. In Virginia 26% of Republicans are less exicted about voting in 2012 than 2008; whereas only 14% of Democrats are.
Interstingly, for Virginia, Obama has 49% approval rating with 47% dissapproving. Yet, he is winning a Romney/McDonnel ticket by 50 – 43%. This means that many voters who dissapprove of Obama continue to find Romney unacceptable. Looking carefully at these numbers, it appears that certain groups — who do not like Obama — find Romney worse. Amoung those groups are the folks in the military. Unsaid in this poll is the even larger group of civilian federal employees and state employees who Romney has alienated.
The GOP faces a real problem if we nominate Romney. The sad truth is we also face this problem with Santorum or Gingrich. We are turning off voters who do not like Obama. George Allen has a 41% favorable 26% unfavorable after representing Virginia as a straight and consistant Bush vote from 2000 – 2006. He is running 4 points ahead of a Romney/McDonnel ticket.
We, as a party, need to take a real look at why we are losing in Virignia, Ohio, and Florida. We must change course if we have any desire to win.
Consider this a raising of a red flag. The GOP is headed to a monumental loss if we cannot change course and start attracting moderates and swing voters. We need to run to the center; not to the far right. We need to build winning coalitions to win the election; not follow our path.
Right now the GOP is LESS motivated than the Democrats and LESS excited about voting for Romney than we were about McCain, and we have LESS support from independents and swing voters.
The only way forward if the GOP wants to remain a viable party is to develop real outreach to the swing voters we need to win, and make real policy changes.
If the GOP becomes the party of Paul Ryan, Obama will get 350 electorial votes, hold the Senate and win-back the House. We need to return to the era of Reagan-Bush.