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

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More