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.
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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs