News / USA

Polls Show Very Tight US Presidential Race

A voter participates in early balloting outside the Denver Elections Division in downtown Denver, Colorado on October 25, 2012.
A voter participates in early balloting outside the Denver Elections Division in downtown Denver, Colorado on October 25, 2012.
President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are engaged in a furious final push for votes with a little more than a week to go before Election Day on November 6. 

Both campaigns are going to great lengths to ensure their supporters get to the polls either on or before Election Day.

Public-opinion polls show a very tight race for president and both candidates are targeting a small group of so-called swing states that will determine the outcome.

The southern state of Florida is a frequent stop for both Mitt Romney and President Obama.

“Florida, I believe in you. I’m asking you to keep believing in me," the president said during a campaign stop this week.

President Obama waves to supporters at a rally in Tampa, Florida, Oct. 25, 2012.
President Obama waves to supporters at a rally in Tampa, Florida, Oct. 25, 2012.

Another prime target is the Midwest state of Ohio, where Romney is urging supporters to get out and vote early.

“Because we happen to believe that America faces big challenges and we recognize this is a year with a big choice and Americans want to see big changes, and I’m going to bring it to this country," he told the crowd.

Mitt Romney waves to the crowd at a campaign stop in Worthington, Ohio, Oct. 25, 2012.
Mitt Romney waves to the crowd at a campaign stop in Worthington, Ohio, Oct. 25, 2012.


More than 30 states offer some sort of early voting opportunity, and analysts believe that will result in 30 to 40 percent of Americans casting their ballots before Election Day.

The president did well among early voters in 2008 and there are some early indications he is repeating that performance this year. But Brookings Institution expert Phil Wallach expects a tight race right up to the end.

“I think the race has stabilized at a dead heat and I think it’s likely that we will go into Election Day not knowing who’s going to come out the winner,” Wallach said.

Both campaigns are making last-minute attempts to win over undecided voters like Gene Greenberg of Virginia. He is drawn to Mitt Romney’s focus on the economy, but wary of the Republican’s conservative views on social issues.

“I agree with their economic principles," Greenberg said. "Their social principles I don’t always agree with, so I have to make that kind of weighted decision on my own.”

Conservative analyst Scot Faulkner believes Romney has the edge in the final days of the campaign, thanks largely to his strong performance in the first presidential debate. More voters now see Romney as a viable alternative to the president, Faulkner said. And both candidates are now focused on making sure their core supporters get out and vote.

“It’s going to be energizing their base," said Faulkner. "They already know who their base votes are and making sure they get out and vote. And at the moment Romney has the fervor [excitement] factor over Obama, but Obama has the ground game over Romney so that makes for a very interesting final phase.”

Several recent national polls have given Romney a slight edge, but analyst Phil Wallach says President Obama may be in a stronger position in the state-by-state tally of electoral votes that decides the winner, Wallach said.

“I think Obama is probably still the slight favorite when we look at the state by state polls. It looks like his road to 270 [electoral votes] is right now a little easier to figure out than Mitt Romney’s.”

Each state is assigned a certain number of electoral votes based on population. In all but two cases, the candidate who wins the popular vote in a given state wins all of that state’s electoral votes. There is a total of 538 electoral votes and the candidate who wins 270 or more of them is elected president.

While concern over the U.S. economy has dominated this election campaign, analyst Scot Faulkner said undecided voters in the final days will also take into account the personal qualities of both men as they make their decision.

“I think the measure of the two men," je said. "It’s the issue of, the president is in your life, in your living room, for four years and who do you want to hear for [the next] four years?  Which voice do you want to hear?  Which face do you want to see?”

About 40 of the 50 states are considered leaning toward one candidate or the other, so both campaigns are concentrating on nine swing or "battleground" states where the outcome is uncertain.  Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado are among those states getting the most attention.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs