News / USA

Obama Improves Standing in Key States: Latest Polls

President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign fundraising concert in Miami Beach, Florida, June 26, 2012.President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign fundraising concert in Miami Beach, Florida, June 26, 2012.
x
President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign fundraising concert in Miami Beach, Florida, June 26, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign fundraising concert in Miami Beach, Florida, June 26, 2012.
In the U.S. presidential race, two new public opinion surveys contain some good news for President Barack Obama as he looks ahead to the November election and his presumptive Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  

The new public opinion polls show increased support for President Obama in several key swing or battleground states, states that often tip the electoral vote count in favor of one candidate or another in close presidential elections.

U.S. presidential elections are determined by the state by state electoral vote count, where the winner of the popular vote in a given state is awarded all of that state's electoral votes, with a few minor exceptions.  Candidates tend to focus on the more competitive large population states because they have the most electoral votes at stake.

A new NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey shows the president with a narrow lead nationally over Mitt Romney, 47 to 44 percent.  But that point spread is within the survey's margin of error.  The poll also shows the president has moved into a larger lead over Romney in many of the dozen or so battleground states, where both candidates are expected to do the bulk of their campaigning.

A new Quinnipiac University survey of three key states shows Obama gaining a larger lead over his likely Republican challenger in recent weeks, despite continuing signs of a weak economic recovery.

"If the election were held today, President Obama would carry Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania and therefore would almost certainly be reelected," said Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute polling organization.  "No one has been elected president since 1960 without carrying two of those three states.  And today, the president is ahead in all of them."

Brown adds that the Obama campaign is running negative TV ads in several key states critical of Romney's business career and his economic record when he was governor of Massachusetts.

"The president is spending heavily on television [advertisements] in these key swing states and that is helping," Brown explained.  "Television matters.  Television ads really move voters and that may be one of the reasons why the president is doing a little better."

But the Romney campaign has also raised tens of millions of dollars to run ads critical of the president.  Many analysts say the Republicans and their allies could outraise the Democrats in this year's election, leading both sides to wage a long and negative campaign.

Brown says the economy remains the key issue in the election.  But he says the president is trying to draw a strong contrast for voters between himself and Mitt Romney.

"Everybody knows who President Obama is," Brown noted.  "Virtually all Americans have a view of the president, either positively or negatively.  Mitt Romney is a different story.  Many voters, even voters who say they are either for him or against him, don't have a firm fix on who he is.  And so what is happening is that he and President Obama are in a race to define Mitt Romney to the American voter."

Brown says his survey shows the coalition that elected President Obama four years ago remains largely intact, including strong support from women, African Americans, young people and Hispanics.  Romney, however, has a unified Republican Party behind him and is making inroads with independent voters.

The latest polls also show support for the president's move to stop the deportation of some younger illegal aliens that could boost Hispanic support for Obama in November.

"Obama simply can't win unless he at least duplicates his performance with Hispanics from 2008," said Larry Sabato who directs the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.  "He's lost so many white voters and so many people in other categories that he has to depend heavily on African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans to win."

There are warning signs for the president as well in the latest polls.  The NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey found the president's overall approval rating at a new low for the year at 47 percent, while 53 percent disapproved of his handling of the economy.

Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown cautions that although the latest surveys might contain some good news for the president, the election is still months away and that Mitt Romney has plenty of time to make his case to voters in what many analysts say will be a close election.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs