The Daily Rundown | March 30, 2012
>>> lot of information on our new nbc news/marist poll, so let's get right to it including the matchups. the director of the marist poll is here. nice to see you.
>> good morning, mr. todd.
>> let's wrap up a little bit of the republican race and then i want to get on to wisconsin as a battleground state . the demographics is destiny. one thing that struck me, even in the places where santorum is leading among very conservative voters, among tea party support is, his leads weren't overwhelming.
>> and, of course, the general picture as you correctly identify is this is not the demographic of the states that santorum has been doing well in, so he needs to broaden, you know, his reach to a lot of voters that he hasn't been able to attract so far or he's got to run up the score among his followers neither of which is happening in wisconsin . that having been said, it's still a single digit race and obviously there are several days of campaigning between now and tuesday, so it's not like romney has a lock and, in fact, only 46% of the romney supporters tell us they're firmly committed to him, so it's kind of like a lukewarm endorsement right now for romney . a lead, but nothing overwhelming and not a lot of enthusiasm on the presidential side of things.
>> and it's funny, i want to get to that. i want to put up the two general election numbers.
>> the president sitting at 52%, romney at 35 and the romney at 38. and they are saying, wow, it's a big lead for the president but note where his number is, it's a hard 51 or 52. you looked at this undecided vote and is it what we're seeing is it the same sort of lukewarm enthusiasm for romney --
>> -- that's showing up in the general?
>> it's several things first of all, with president obama , he's actually running a couple points below where he was four years ago when he carried wisconsin overwhelmingly, so it's not like he's getting a big endorsement right now in wisconsin despite the margins over romney and santorum . and, yes, the lukewarm support for the republicans, right now the undecided, 12% of republicans say they are undecided in the general election toss-up against romney and obama, and a lot of independents who lean republicans, are also undecided in the head-to-head matchups. the endorsements that romney is getting that we talked about with bush and others and ryan, i mean, that's really important for him right now because he needs to start bringing the republican party together, to start bringing party unity and start generating some enthusiasm for the general election . that's why the gaps are likely to close in the toss-up, because the folks who are not supporting romney right now are people who are probably going to end up romney supporters.
>> right. and they're just sitting on the side. but i got to go to the walker, the scott walker phenomenon here. 48-48 split. and, you know, you see this in a presidential level, okay? george w. bush , barack obama , on days they can hard, positive job approval and a hard negative job disapproval. but for a governor to see it this polarized is amazing.
>> that's how you spell polarized in wisconsin , w-a-l-k-e-r, it's spelled walker and that's what we see. it's split down the middle. the state is tornl apart, and the events are causing it, the recall is attracting so much attention. as you indicate when you went through the numbers in the first read, more republican primary voters are paying attention to the recall election than they are to the presidential primary , sew it's that big for wisconsin right now. it couldn't be any larger really.
>> and in your history of polling governors, you've done a lot of state polling over the years, have you seen a governor sort of this polarized view between the two parties?
>> no. and the recall really chrissalichrissal i crystallizes that. now there's this opportunity to really have folks in a sense get a second chance to make a first impression in terms of their original vote so that's what ask really galvanizing the interest in wisconsin . that will be the story in indiana. tuesday will be a distraction, then they'll get right back to the recall discussion.
>> what a great way to put it, tuesday's primary simply a distraction while the recall attracts their time. lee, always a pleasure, thank you.
>> talk soon.