Pollster speaks to Lincoln Club about election (Daily Bulletin – 9/28/12)
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ONTARIO – Pollster Steven M. Kinney has nearly four decades’ worth of professional experience studying politics and data, but he won’t hazard a public guess on the outcome of this year’s presidential election between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“We believe this could repeat the closeness of the `04 election. Or maybe even closer,” Kinney said Friday to a gathering of the Lincoln Club of San Bernardino County.
Kinney is a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, a polling firm with offices in Redondo Beach that advises Republican candidates.
Obama has maintained support from key demographics that helped him win the 2008 election – African Americans, Latinos, 18- to 29-year-old voters and white female college graduates, Kinney said.
Seniors and conservatives, however, appear to have more motivation to cast a vote, Kinney said.
“This is an election of anger,” he said. “They don’t have a heavy love of Romney. They have an intense dislike of Obama.”
Several polls, as archived on RealClearPolitics.com, give Obama an average 4.1 point lead over Romney.
The site’s Electoral College projections, however, have Obama five votes short of a win and seven states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia are listed as toss-ups and could provide Romney sufficient votes to claim the White House.
Kinney said he and his colleagues believe the economy will dominate the election but public opinion won’t solidify until mid-October.
Obama and Romney have yet to have their first debate, which is set for Wednesday.
Also, the Labor Department will release two jobs reports before the election, including one set for release the Friday before Election Day.
The official unemployment rate stood at 8.1 percent August.
In 1984, Ronald Reagan won reelection with an October jobless rate of 7.4 percent, the worst unemployment level for an incumbent president who won a new term, according to Kinney’s firm.
In 1980, Jimmy Carter lost to Reagan with an October jobless rate of 7.5 percent.
George H.W. Bush lost his election bid to Bill Clinton in 1992 with an October unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.
The Lincoln Club of San Bernardino County is a conservative group that directs its outreach to business owners, chairman Marc Steinworth said.