News24

Romney could beat Obama

2012-04-22 09:40

Washington - He has been mocked as rich and out of touch, struggled to woo his own party and left a trail of gaffes - but Mitt Romney still has a genuine shot to make Barack Obama a one-term president.

A cascade of new polls, uncertain economic data and fresh concern that Europe's woes could cross the Atlantic, point to the Republican's best chance of beating Obama in November - dismay about America's slow economic recovery.

Though Obama is ahead by a nose despite the slowest recovery in decades, the president has little breathing room should the economy slow this year, as it did in 2010 and 2011.

Voters seem to like Obama more and believe he cares more about the middle classes, according to early polls ahead of the November 6 election.

So, should the rebound maintain a pace that has created around million jobs over five months, and if Obama navigates sudden crises at home and abroad, he looks well placed with his approval rating approaching 50%.

Economic recovery

Yet polls suggest voters are not yet feeling the economic recovery, or Obama's strategy to create jobs - giving Romney a fungible, yet genuine opening.

A slowing of the pace of job creation, to just 120 000 positions, in March, has fuelled fears the recovery could be stalling. Europe's woes are again worrying US investors.

Major polls now show the Romney and Obama match up largely within the margin of error.

In a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll this week, Obama led Romney by 49% to 43%. The New York Times/CBS survey had them pegged at 46%t and a Quinnipiac University poll had the president up 46 to 42%.

"I think if the election were held today it could go either way," said Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government at the University of Texas.

"On eight out of ten days, Obama wins by one point if everything is as it is right now. But bad news at the wrong time could turn it into a five point loss for the president."

Unite the party

Polls suggest Romney has started to unite his party after a divisive primary fight and reveal America is still a nation split down the political middle.

"This is going to be a very very close election We are not going to win it 54 to 46 (percent) - it is going to be very close," said a senior White House official.

Obama clearly has cause for concern over the economy.

Only 38% of those asked in the Journal poll thought the economy would get better in the next year, and the president's economic approval rating was under water at 45%.

The Times poll had Obama's approval rating on the economy at 44%. Quinnipiac had voters preferring Romney to deal with the economy, create jobs and bring down a spike in gasoline prices.

Thomas Baldino, a professor of politics at Wilkes University, Pennsylvania, believes that if the election were held now, Romney could win as many Americans simply do not feel their financial situation improving.

Political message

He warned that a torrent of advertising expected from Romney and allied special interest groups could shred Obama's political message.

"Unless there is something tangible for people to look at and feel that the economy has improved, then those negative ads are going to make it difficult for Obama to say he is the guy to turn around the economy."

Romney has plenty to worry about too.

Though he leads Obama among white voters, he trails badly among the vital voting blocs of women and Hispanics - by margins that guarantee a loss if he cannot close the gap.

Romney has anchored his assaults against Obama on the economy under the slogan "Obama Isn't Working."

But if unemployment ticks down from the current 8.2%, Obama's advantages elsewhere may be decisive.

The superior Obama campaign machine will meanwhile seek to exploit Romney's reputation as a corporate raider who made a fortune sometimes at the expense of other people's jobs.

Attacking Romney's wealth

Obama is implicitly also attacking Romney's wealth, campaigning for higher taxes on the rich as his surrogates demand his rival open his tax records for inspection.

Romney also starts from behind on the electoral map which candidates mine for 270 electoral votes needed to be president.

Obama has more routes to victory, while Romney cannot afford to lose battlegrounds like Florida and Ohio and still hope to reach the White House.

And Romney must also conquer conventional wisdom, which doubts his skills as a candidate and chances of victory --a feeling that the Politico website reported on Friday extends to members of his own Republican Party.

Comments
  • wesleywt - 2012-04-22 12:01

    Unlikely. His own party hates him. The Christians hate him. The republicans have the lowest approval ratings hovering around 30%. He has lowest approval ratings of any candidate since the 70's. If he does win it will be one of the biggest comebacks since Jesus.

      Sterling - 2012-04-22 17:10

      Most people are not going to make up their minds until after the debates, ths election is not until November.

      Sterling - 2012-04-22 17:10

      Most people are not going to make up their minds until after the debates, ths election is not until November.

      elewies - 2012-04-22 20:05

      Agreed. Obama will be re-elected this year. The nasty Republican primaries were the cherry on the cake. Evangelical republicans won't come out to vote for Mitt when they realize what he believes in. It might not have come up yet but democratic affiliated super PACs will start airing advertisements that show what stupid believes he has- everything from magical underwear, living on some crazy ass planet after death and baptizing the dead. Most evangelicals will never vote for Obama but a hell of a lot will not come out and make an 'x' next to Mitt's name.

      elewies - 2012-04-22 20:05

      Agreed. Obama will be re-elected this year. The nasty Republican primaries were the cherry on the cake. Evangelical republicans won't come out to vote for Mitt when they realize what he believes in. It might not have come up yet but democratic affiliated super PACs will start airing advertisements that show what stupid believes he has- everything from magical underwear, living on some crazy ass planet after death and baptizing the dead. Most evangelicals will never vote for Obama but a hell of a lot will not come out and make an 'x' next to Mitt's name.

  • africanwolf - 2012-04-22 12:41

    It should read Romney will beat Obama Obama is a one term president

      arne.verhoef - 2012-04-22 20:13

      And you're an idiot

      arne.verhoef - 2012-04-22 20:13

      And you're an idiot

  • Ian - 2012-04-22 12:49

    I certainly hope that Romney does not get in under any circumstances. Have a look at Fortune magazine 2012 issue 5 to see what he and his cohort Paul Singer are up to. "Who cares about the 99%, we are only interested in the 1% (who earn $5million and above)". Singer targets struggling debt ridden companies and countries with the sole goal of hitting them with extremely onerous law suits and driving them deeper in debt. See also the video on Bain Capital and the amount of wealth and companies they have destroyed through asset stripping to benefit a very small minority and they are the guys through their greed give capitalism a very bad name and in fact destroy its roots (small entrepreneurial roots) through their mantra of bigger is better. We need these guys in power like holes in the head. Be much happier with them in jail.

      Trent Hodges - 2012-04-22 14:25

      You seem to claim to know a lot, but in fact no very little- are you familiar with Staples? A Baincapital start up 100 of thousands jobs created1 they've owned(majority share holders) companies like dunkin donuts- burger king etc- and got them to operate better, the majority of companies that they bought were struggling, the set up the correct structures and got them operating at profits. Edcon(cna, Edgar's etc) ate currently owned by Bain, and have been for the last 4 years or so- do you see the difference since then? I know the previous MD of Bain and he is a good guy, really smart(phd from Harvard) and really generous with his wealth- know the facts before you follow what the democratic party's press companies write...

      Trent Hodges - 2012-04-22 14:25

      You seem to claim to know a lot, but in fact no very little- are you familiar with Staples? A Baincapital start up 100 of thousands jobs created1 they've owned(majority share holders) companies like dunkin donuts- burger king etc- and got them to operate better, the majority of companies that they bought were struggling, the set up the correct structures and got them operating at profits. Edcon(cna, Edgar's etc) ate currently owned by Bain, and have been for the last 4 years or so- do you see the difference since then? I know the previous MD of Bain and he is a good guy, really smart(phd from Harvard) and really generous with his wealth- know the facts before you follow what the democratic party's press companies write...

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-04-22 13:31

    I certainly hope that America sticks with Obama. He adds more color to America as a nation, while his Republican counterpart seems to stifle the air.

  • Trent Hodges - 2012-04-22 14:26

    Why target the rich and raise their taxes, and not reduce the tax rates for the poor and middle class? Greed!

      Tanie - 2012-04-22 15:37

      Go and run for presidency there because you know too much.

      Tanie - 2012-04-22 15:37

      Go and run for presidency there because you know too much.

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