Post-convention poll boost for Obama

2012-09-11 11:01

Washington - US President Barack Obama received a significant popularity bounce from his party convention last week and now leads the White House race by a small but clear margin, polls indicated on Monday.

One polling expert working for Republican challenger Mitt Romney dismissed the convention bump as a "sugar-high" that would dissolve once the harsh realities of the president's failed economic policies have sunk back in.

But a CNN/ORC survey of likely voters gave Obama 52% of the vote compared to 46% for Romney, who also fell behind in August in terms of fundraising, the first time he has trailed in the cash race since April.

A Gallup seven-day tracking poll out on Monday also showed Obama ahead, with a five percentage point cushion, while another post-convention survey gave the Democratic incumbent a 5% lead in the key battleground of Ohio.

The candidates were tied at 48% support in the previous CNN/ORC poll, conducted before last week's three-day convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, at which Obama was formally nominated for a second term.

At the convention's finale, Obama shed the soaring rhetoric he used four years ago and portrayed himself as battle-hardened, demanding patience from an electorate he said faced the starkest choice in a generation.

Reassuring donors

Former president Bill Clinton's speech the night before, defending Obama's handling of the economy and drawing stark contrasts with the top-down approach of the Republicans, was widely seen as having given him an important lift.

Hours before the results of the CNN/ORC poll were known, Romney's team was already seeking to reassure donors and supporters, issuing a "State of the Race" bulletin that betrayed nerves in the campaign.

"Don't get too worked up about the latest polling. While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly," said Romney pollster Neil Newhouse.

"The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race," his missive went on to say.

Newhouse argued that Romney was still the preferred candidate on the crucial issue of the economy and that all the signs pointed to a tight race in which the former Massachusetts governor had a money advantage.

The message was seen as an attempt to shore up support for the Republican candidate after some disappointing polls and after Obama outraised Romney in August by $114m to $111m.

Romney mum on numbers

Newhouse said Romney's supporters were more enthusiastic and that the campaign had crossed a 20 million volunteer threshold as they deploy an all-out "Ground Game" across the key swing states in the 6 November election.

"Mitt Romney will be the next president," he insisted.

"The outcome of this race will ultimately be determined in favour of governor Romney because he has the better leadership skills, the better record, and the better vision for where he wants to take the country."

Speaking at a campaign event later on Monday in Ohio, Romney made no mention of the disappointing poll numbers as he hammered Obama over his stewardship of the economy - insisting again on Obama's weak record on job creation.

While some parts of the US economy have begun to show signs of life, and the stock market has more than recovered since the crash that struck shortly before Obama's election, unemployment remains doggedly high, above 8%.

"We know what would happen if he were re-elected, we'd see more years of high unemployment, we'd see more years of massive deficits, we'd see more years of almost no wage growth in this country," Romney said.

Upcoming debates

"We'd see more years of a nation at the cusp of the kind of crisis you're seeing in Europe. We're forewarned and that's why we're not going to re-elect this man," he blasted.

Obama had no campaign events planned on Monday.

The all-important first presidential debate between Obama and Romney in Denver, Colorado is now less than a month away on 3 October. The rivals will hold two more face-offs on 16 October and 22 October.

Vice President Joe Biden and Romney running mate Paul Ryan hold a one-off debate on 11 October.

  • jacqueline.benjamin.52 - 2012-09-11 11:57

    Sugar rush indeed, we need more sweetness in this world. President Obama, you have my adoration.

      nick.armstrong.1800 - 2012-09-11 13:30

      Obama is a fraud! A socialist, welfare-state, protagonist - who's also betrayed Isreal... Stuff the concept of "Big Government" in our lives - telling us what to do, and how to spend our money in our lives - taxing the industrious to subsidise the entitlement, welfare, bandwagon... We have enough of a cradle-to-grave welfare state problem here in SA - don't need "more of the same" in the USA.. The perfect candidate would've been Ron Paul - a true Civil Libertarian - who would've truly changed the Establishment order - and ensured minimal govt interference, and true civil liberties and freedoms of choice.. A leader whom the world could've followed.. Alas - the 'teacher' appeared - but the 'pupil' was not ready.. Opinion polls are often published - to INFLUENCE opinion, rather than reflect it - and that is exactlty what the left-leaning, populist, media and its cohorts is doing! Come November - Romney will give Obama a hiding.. Of the 2 - I would far rather Mitt Romney - than the welfare-state, socialist, Obama - who's presided over the worst recovery in US history...

      nick.armstrong.1800 - 2012-09-11 13:32

      Oops - typo - I mean Israel (not "Isreal").. :)

      Jaba - 2012-09-11 13:44

      Nick you say that Obama betrayed Israel but 60% out of the over 120 million dollars raised in donations were from the Jewish communities of New York, Miami and California. Most Israeli Knesset members are fond of Obama with the exception of the prime minister. Moreover the powerful lobby group Aipac have given their support to Obama, as they always support the democrats. Obama did throw some of America’s Allies under the bus (like Poland and the Russian anti missile deal) but I can not agree with you that he has done the same to Israel – for if he had, his donations would be standing at $45 million. Lastly, these American elections is like a vegetarian going to the Meat Company for supper – there is nothing for him on the menu. Both Republicans & Democrats are useless this year…

      nick.armstrong.1800 - 2012-09-11 14:36

      @ Jaba - I hear you - however I would not agree that most Knesset members are fond of Obama.. And - there is a growing groundswell of distrust and disappointment in Obama amongst the Jewish community in the USA (traditionally always Democratic)... Obama has been reluctant/ too spineless to give Iran and Ahmadinejad an ultimatum and draw non-negotiable red lines in the sand. It is this weakness - typical of Democrats - that has 'encouraged' Iran to continue on its path... Appeasement and weakness has never got the free world anywhere when dealing with tyrants. Remember Neville Chamberlain trying to appease Adolf Hitler in the late 1930's... As you say - Obama has betrayed Poland and others re the anti-missile deal.. Under his stewardship - US influence in global affairs re over the expanding influence of China and Russia - has waned.. AIPAC and others do not want to be seen to preferring one candidate over another - they need to be seen to be bi-partisan... Netanyahu and Likud and their alliance partners would most certainly prefer a Romney win over another 4 years of luke-warm, soft-c#ck, Obama.. Obama got involved in Libya - for "humanitarian" reasons - but the same reasons don't apply when dealing with Syria... Why?? Obama is too weak to take the tough decisions.. Just like Clinton was in the late 1990's when opportunities presented themselves to take out Bin Laden in Afghanistan (with some civilian collateral casualties).. Had he done so - would 9/11 have happened?

  • press.enter.12 - 2012-09-11 11:59

    Go Obama ! - the world doesn't need another Bush impersonator.

  • LanfearM - 2012-09-11 12:14

    Great stuff Obama! Get rid of that idiotic bigamist and misogynyst, who doesn't care about anybody but his rich buddies and how he can cut their tax even more!

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