News24

Obama ahead in presidential race

2012-08-11 08:00

Washington - New polls suggest President Barack Obama has opened a clear lead in his re-election race over Mitt Romney, raising the stakes for the Republican challenger in a crucial month for his campaign.

Obama is ahead nationally and in most of the dozen swing states that will decide the 6 November election, as Romney prepares for two pivotal moments - his selection of a running mate and his primetime convention speech.

Several days of polling suggests that the Democratic incumbent's attempt to fix and image of Romney in the minds of voters as a rich businessman oblivious to the struggles of the middle class may be working.

And they also indicate that, while Americans are in a ornery mood after years of economic pain and do not expect Obama to offer immediate relief, they have an increasingly unfavorable view of his opponent Romney.

A Fox News national poll on Thursday put Obama ahead, at 49% to 40% over Romney while a CNN poll had Obama at 52%, seven points up on the former Massachusetts governor.

A Pew Research poll last week had Obama up by 10 points.

The polls follow a punishing few weeks for Romney, who has been pummelled by the Obama camp's negative advertising blitz, had his tax plan and personal tax arrangements savaged and endured bad headlines for a foreign trip.

Obama's gains appear to reflect improved ratings among the independent voters who often tip the scales in US elections.

CNN had Obama up by 53% to 42% among this subset of voters, while Fox News had the president up by 11 percentage points among independents, up from a four percent lead last month.

"The events of the past two weeks appear to have energized Democratic voters a bit," Fox News quoted its pollster Daron Shaw as saying.

"The Obama campaign has - at least in the short-term - succeeded in raising questions about Romney's fitness to govern and in making this less of a referendum and more of a choice election."

In the CNN poll, 48% of those asked had an unfavourable view of Romney, up six points from last month. The Fox poll had Romney's unfavourables at 45%, up 5% on last month.

Money talks

National polls, while useful snapshots of political opinion, do not tell the full story of the presidential race, which is a state-by-state battle to pile up the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory.

But polls in those critical states that swing between Democrats and Republicans, also show Obama in the lead, albeit with much smaller margins than in the national polls.

Averages of recent polls by RealClearPolitics.com show Obama up by five points in Ohio, three points in Virginia, 1.5 points in Florida, a percentage point in Iowa, and five points in Nevada.

Three months before the November 6 election, Obama also leads in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire and Colorado.

Romney is ahead in Missouri and North Carolina.

Should these forecasts be confirmed in the general election, the president's tally of electoral votes would come in at around 330.

While the latest figures look rosy for Obama, his campaign still expects the race, dominated by the lagging economy, to be close. Campaign managers are much more focused on battleground state polls than snapshots of the national race.

Romney also has ample time to change the narrative. He will get saturation media coverage when he unveils the identity of his vice presidential nominee. An announcement is expected within days.

At the end of August, Romney will have his single most important chance to make an unfiltered connection with the American people, when he accepts the Republican nomination at the party's nomination convention in Tampa, Florida.

Then, he will have the chance to press his case against Obama, and to lambast the president over his economic management, with unemployment at 8.3%, in three televised debates scheduled for October.

Conventional wisdom meanwhile has it that American voters do not tune in seriously to the election until Labour Day at the beginning of September.

Romney's growing financial advantage over Obama may also come into play in the final two months, when the president can expect a barrage of negative advertising from the challenger and allied fundraising committees.

Comments
  • jack.russel.14268769 - 2012-08-11 08:52

    Deja-vu, I remember a statistic during the last election where Obama got 69% more media coverage than McCain, that's clearly happening again, and while the sheep go bleating along thinking they actually have an open mind and a vote, the people that control the country will put in the most willing horse that'll do what they want him to do. The American propaganda machine is very very finely tuned

      paul.anthony.dawson - 2012-08-11 10:48

      People just don't like Romney. He's a golden-spoon fed, super rich mormon. There are big powers that want Romney in like the finance houses such as Goldmans, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. Obama has been pretty ruthless with the Banks when it comes to legislation and regulatory practices. And so he should be. Obama came from nowhere, even slept on the streets when he came to NYC, so people can relate to him more. Character and charisma and the "American dream come true" wins elections. Romney has none of these.

      jack.russel.14268769 - 2012-08-11 11:58

      online says- he had two jobs while going through college, lived in a basement flat while his wife had MS, raising 5 kids and going to night school. A self made millionaire with numerous undisclosed donations to charities churches MS research etc. Had a health care program while Governor in Massachusetts giving all under 18's free health care without raising taxes- where Obama's health care is identical to Romney s. So while getting Nobel prizes a day after sending 15000 more troops to war, extending the patriot act and extending gitmo's budget, I repeat, the propaganda machine purrs like a kitten.

      paul.anthony.dawson - 2012-08-11 12:14

      Not sure of your sources mate - http://2012.republican-candidates.org/Romney/Childhood.php His father was a power house. Not everything is a conspiracy, although money and slander do win elections: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2012-08/11/content_15664838.htm

      James - 2012-08-11 13:13

      Romney is a great man. Made $250,000,000 from scratch. The only reason BO {Stinks} the affirmative action Marxist community organizer is ahead, due to vile lies being spread by BO. {HE killed a woman, He is a Felon.Does not pay Taxes} Typical Chicongo Politics. Most voters in the US are stupid. I'm still waiting for The Economy to bounce back. Welfare has soared 100 MILLION Americans on the Dole.

      James - 2012-08-11 13:18

      The Liberal Media reports 84% negative on Mitt. All the money he inherited he donated. That is a fact. He gives 15% of his income to his Church.

      paul.anthony.dawson - 2012-08-11 14:08

      "The Halfbreed in the Blackhouse" You've exposed yourself here I'm afraid. White supremacy is very 1900's. Time to move on.

      cvh23 - 2012-08-12 19:35

      THEY ARE BOTH FREAKS. there is no difference. its the presidential reality show. no self respecting person can associate with the lesser of two evils this explains it: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-world-tomorrow-20120725

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-11 08:53

    Just makes sense...

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-11 09:46

    At least the Americans will have enough brains not to trust a Mormon in the White House. How is it possible that a rumored educated human being can believe such trash? Perhaps a lesson for the rest of us of so many different belief systems in there.

      paul.anthony.dawson - 2012-08-11 10:34

      It's just a reason to dip his pen in more than one ink. "Ooh look, I found some plates in the desert."

  • paradzai.chidamoyo - 2012-08-11 12:10

    November 6 Obama in office

      cvh23 - 2012-08-12 19:43

      NOVEMBER 6 WW3 there is no difference. its the presidential reality show. no self respecting person can associate with the lesser of two evils this explains it: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-world-tomorrow-20120725

  • louiseroger.higham - 2012-08-11 13:33

    Hope he wins again, don't like Romney

      cvh23 - 2012-08-12 19:31

      good to know are willing to support the man who bails out banks, wrote the ndaa, started unconstitutional wars, extended the patriot act, repealed posse comitatis and kills people with drone strikes. he will start ww3, and the world financial system is weeks away from imploding there is no difference. its the presidential reality show. no self respecting person can associate with the lesser of two evils this explains it: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-world-tomorrow-20120725

  • cvh23 - 2012-08-12 19:21

    there is no difference. its the presidential reality show. no self respecting person can associate with the lesser of two evils this explains it: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-world-tomorrow-20120725

  • cvh23 - 2012-08-12 22:51

    I don't believe in left/right politics. I am a libertarian and believe that individual freedom and liberty trumps all other causes. I don't believe that politics can solve any serious problem. I don't believe a self respecting person can support or vote for the 'lesser of two evils', whether its Obama or Romney. there is no difference. its the presidential reality show. no self respecting person can associate with the lesser of two evils this explains it: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-world-tomorrow-20120725

  • cvh23 - 2012-08-13 09:33

    "10,000+ ROMNEYRYAN RALLY IN WI: GC: Romney/Ryan, Obama/Biden, Bieber/Kardashian, how can adults believe and cheer 4 these 2-bit freak shows?" Gerald Celente

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