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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid