Please don’t overreact on a poll-by-poll basis. It will make you crazy.
Personally, I tend to put extra stock in Pew and Gallup polls. Gallup is doing a daily tracking poll, which as of this morning had Obama up by just 47-44. And both of these polls were of registered voters and didn’t employ a likely voter screen. You can see a comparison of many recent Obama-Romney polls here. If you study that table, you will note that Pew has generally found Obama to be further ahead than others polling at the same time. With all those caveats…
Pew had a large sample and therefore a smaller-than-average margin of error of 2.3 which makes Obama’s seven-point lead well above statistical significance. Compared with Pew’s previous poll shows Obama’s lead has grown to seven percentage points from four points in Mid-June, although the difference is not that Obama’s support has risen but that Romney’s has fallen. That is consistent with a common analysis point over recent news cycles that Romney has been hurt by the recent pounding over his business and financial practices.
Perhaps most alarming for Team Romney, Pew found that of 12 specific issues on which respondents were asked whether Obama or Romney would a better job, Obama won on 10 while Romney won only on reducing the deficit and improving the job situation. (Of course, those are two pretty big, salient issues. On the other hand, Romney doesn’t really have a coherent deficit reduction program and the public seems to always assume that Republicans will do better on that issue.)
Anyway, here’s the table of the 12 issues, lifted directly from the summary of the poll on Pew’s website:
As you might expect, the standing of the Supreme Court took a huge hit among Republicans in the aftermath of the big health care ruling. From the report:
“About half of Americans (51%) express a favorable opinion of the court, while 37% have an unfavorable view, up eight points since April and the highest percentage expressing an unfavorable opinion in a trend dating to 1985. The more negative view of the court is largely being driven by Republicans: Three months ago, Republicans viewed the Supreme Court favorably by a 56% to 25% margin. Today, they view the court unfavorably by a 51% to 38% margin.”