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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid