A recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows Mitt Romney is currently much stronger than Rick Perry in Virginia, a nearly must-win state for the GOP. The poll shows Romney with a 1-point lead (46 to 45 percent) over President Obama in the Old Dominion, while Perry trails Obama by double-digits (50 to 40 percent).
Rasmussen writes, “The difference comes almost entirely from voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties. Both Romney and Perry win more than eight-out-of-10 Republican votes, while Obama secures 92% of the Democratic vote against both men. However, Romney leads the president by seven among unaffiliated voters, while Perry trails by 20.”
According to the poll, Romney has a net favorability rating of +24 points (56 percent favorable, 32 percent unfavorable), while Obama’s net favorability rating is +1 (50 to 49 percent), and Perry’s is minus-9 (40 to 49 percent). Among independents, Romney’s rating is +25 points (57 to 32 percent), Obama’s is minus-3 (48 to 51 percent), and Perry’s is minus-26 (33 to 59 percent). (No other candidates were included in the survey.)
The poll is important because, among the nine states where the two parties look to be the most evenly matched (if the election turns out to be a nail-biter), the three most crucial states for the Republican nominee to win are probably (in order) Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. This poll, therefore, certainly does not bode well for Perry.
Obama won Virginia in 2008, breaking the Republicans’ streak of ten straight wins there, but Rasmussen shows he’s clearly beatable this time around — to say the least. The poll asked Virginians to rate Obama’s performance (“excellent,” “good,” “fair,” or “poor”) in two specific areas — on the economy and on foreign policy. The most popular answer for each was “poor.” On the economy, almost half of all respondents answered “poor” (45 percent), and the runner-up answer was “fair” (21 percent).