News / USA

Surveys Show Tight US Presidential Race as Party Conventions Loom

Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama, right.
Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama, right.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. public opinion surveys show a close race for president between the incumbent Democrat, President Barack Obama, and his presumptive Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The polls also show voters tend to personally like the president more but give a slight edge to Romney on handling the economy, which is by far the most important issue in the campaign. 

The latest Gallup daily tracking poll gives President Obama a narrow 47 to 46 percent lead over Mitt Romney with about 90 days until the election in November. There has been little fluctuation in the Gallup daily tracking poll since April, and analysts say that could mean the race will remain close until Election Day.

“Mr. Obama seems to be slightly ahead nationally and seems to be slightly ahead in more of the swing states than not," says Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But it is not a huge lead.”

Brown’s latest polls in three competitive or so-called swing states also show a tight race. Romney holds a five point lead in Colorado, while the president is ahead by four points in Virginia and six points in Wisconsin.  Obama won all three states in 2008 and they are among about a dozen or so battleground states this year, where the presidential campaigns will focus their organizing and advertising activities. 

Brown says the race for the White House will intensify shortly with Romney’s expected announcement of a vice presidential running mate and the two party nominating conventions that will be held the last week in August and the first week in September.

“There are several events that will really determine this election -- Mr. Romney’s choice of a running mate and the Republican convention and the Democratic convention and how the two people come across," says Brown. "And then, obviously, the debates will be the crowning events of the campaign.”

Three presidential debates will be held beginning in early October plus one debate between the two vice presidential candidates.

Longtime political analyst Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News says Mitt Romney will try to use the Republican Party convention to reintroduce himself to American voters.

“I think Romney is going to get a bounce [i.e., a boost in his public opinion ratings] when he announces his vice presidential candidate and he is going to get a bounce from his acceptance speech at the convention," says DeFrank, who appeared on VOA’s Issues in the News program. "And I suspect that Romney will come out of that convention a few points ahead.”

DeFrank also notes that the polls show most voters have already decided which candidate they will support, with a relatively small pool of undecided voters left for the campaigns to try to persuade ahead of November 6.

“The bottom line to me is that President Obama has not convinced the majority of the American people that he deserves to be reelected," he says. "Neither has Governor Romney convinced a majority of the American people that he is up to the job of being president either.”

Both presidential campaigns and their allied fundraising groups, known as super PACs, or political action committees, have spent tens of millions of dollars running attack ads during the past several weeks trying to influence those undecided voters.  And experts say we can expect that to continue into November.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid