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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid