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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid