News / USA

Polls Show Tightening US Presidential Race

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures during a town hall meeting at Ariel Corporation in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, October 10, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures during a town hall meeting at Ariel Corporation in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, October 10, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
— In the U.S. presidential race, the latest public opinion polls show Republican candidate Mitt Romney gaining after last week's debate with President Barack Obama.  National correspondent Jim Malone has the latest from Washington.

That first presidential debate appears to have shifted the race back to a dead heat, according to several new national polls.

The latest polls from Gallup and Pew Research show Romney pulling into a slight lead over President Obama with less than a month to go until Election Day.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen's latest surveys also show Romney gaining after trailing the president for several weeks.  His latest poll has the race tied at 48 percent each.

"It has been close for a very long time and in the last week things have gotten a little bit better for Governor Romney," said Rasmussen.  "It is way too early to say that the race has been fundamentally changed.  Romney had a good night.  He is doing a little better this week, but there are still four weeks to go."

Analyst John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center says the debate boost for Romney came at a critical moment.

"I think he had been going through a rough patch and it was a very good debate and it's going to re-energize his supporters and I think also re-energize his donors," said Fortier.

Many Democrats were disappointed in the president's performance and some have been alarmed by Romney's boost in the polls.  

Fortier also said that he expects President Obama to be sharper in the next two debates.

"I think the president is probably going to do better in the future debates," Fortier added.  "He is a formidable candidate, so I expect he'll be energized and will do better debate prep and think about ways he can be more aggressive in the future debates."

A more aggressive tone from the Obama campaign might be on display as soon as Thursday's vice presidential debate between the incumbent, Democrat Joe Biden, and the Republican candidate, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

The next presidential debate will be held on Tuesday and will be a town hall meeting format where members of the audience will be able to ask the candidates questions.

The third and final presidential debate will be held on October 22 and will deal primarily with foreign policy issues.

Analyst Jennifer Donahue noted that the final debate between the president and Romney could be crucial.

"But the last one is the one that will sway swing voters," Donahue explained.  "There are five to six percent of voters who are undecided and that is where all of the election play will be.  The person who gets the most of those five or six percent will be the next president."

While the debate may be helping the Romney campaign, the latest unemployment figures could prove to be a boost for the president.

"Having the unemployment rate go below eight percent has got to be a real tonic [boost] for President Obama and his campaign," said Michael Franc with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization in Washington.  "It comes down to whether voters perceive the economy is getting better or getting worse.  Ultimately, it is can you convince enough voters that things are turning around, and those numbers actually have been ticking up somewhat for the president in the last month or so."

Both campaigns are now focused on a handful of so-called swing states where the election is likely to be decided on November 6.  President Obama maintains a slight lead in several of these states at the moment, including Ohio, where the Romney campaign is furiously trying to mount a comeback.

No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid