News / USA

Tight, Negative US Presidential Campaign Expected: Analysts

Republican presidential candidate Romney speaks in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, May 18, 2012.Republican presidential candidate Romney speaks in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, May 18, 2012.
x
Republican presidential candidate Romney speaks in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, May 18, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate Romney speaks in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, May 18, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Less than six months before the U.S. presidential election, new polls show a deadlocked race between President Barack Obama and his expected Republican opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The intense verbal jousting between the Obama and Romney campaigns has begun early and political analysts predict a long and largely negative campaign between now and November.

Frank Newport is a pollster with one of the most respected monitors of U.S. public opinion, the Gallup Organization.

"You put it all together and my conclusion looking at it is that it is a very close race at this point," said Newport.  "In fact, when we asked people who would you vote for if the election were today, voters in America, basically it is tied at about 46 [percent] to 46."

If the predictions hold true, the 2012 race will be in keeping with other recent close presidential elections, including those in 2000 and 2004.

Most analysts say the economy is the critical issue in this year's campaign and they say the key question is whether voters have enough faith in Obama to reward him with another four years in office, or turn instead to Romney.

Romney is close to securing the 1,144 delegates he needs to claim the Republican Party's presidential nomination and has focused his campaign on President Obama's handling of the economy.

"He has spent more and borrowed more.  The time has come for a president, a leader, who will lead.  I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno," said Romney.

After a relatively comfortable victory four years ago, the president is warning his Democratic supporters to expect a much closer contest this year.  Obama spoke recently at a campaign fundraising event in New York.

"But I'm going to need all of you," said Obama.  "This is going to be a tough race.  It is going to be a tight race.  Nobody should be taking this for granted."

Polls show voters like Obama personally more than Romney, but many surveys give Romney a slight edge in handling the economy.

Thomas Mann, a political expert at the Brookings Institution, says public perceptions of the economy will be a determining factor in November.

"I would say the most important factor is whether the economy is picking up some steam and moving forward or is it falling back again?  If it's falling back again Obama's re-election is at serious risk," said Mann.

Like the 2004 matchup between President George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry, both candidates this year will rely on a strong turnout from committed supporters in their parties.

But close elections are usually decided by independent voters, who do not have strong allegiances to either political party and are liable to swing either way on Election Day.

Ken Duberstein served as former President Ronald Reagan's chief of staff in the 1980s.

"Where the votes are going to count are in the middle, in the independent vote," said Duberstein.  "If the bases [of both parties] turn out, nobody wins.  It is the fight over the independents, the 'indies.'  So you have to broaden your constituency and not just play to your existing base."

While the campaign is expected to be tough, Romney has repudiated a proposed attack campaign against the president developed on behalf of wealthy conservative businessman Joe Ricketts.

The New York Times said that the $10 million ad campaign that Ricketts wanted to fund separately from the Romney campaign would have resurrected Obama's ties to his controversial former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  But a spokesman says Ricketts has now rejected the proposed campaign.  Republican candidate John McCain opposed a similar campaign when he ran against Obama in 2008.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alex Smith from: Russia
May 29, 2012 2:38 PM
Answer is to Donatas. There is no right dependency. But new thinking is needed about democracy in Russia. Conception of democracy is under the question.


by: Donatas from: Russia
May 23, 2012 3:52 AM
Alex Smith, do you think Obama or someone else depends from Putin?


by: jason huang from: N.Y.C
May 22, 2012 12:58 PM
This is good.


by: peggy from: nyc
May 22, 2012 12:54 PM
Fatma. How are you today!


by: Learner from: Southeastasia
May 21, 2012 1:18 AM
How is the US economy run? I think the economy of a country depends very much on the productivity and its sale, and savings of its people, and not so much on its president. What a president can do is create acceptable strategic policies to boost productivity and sales, and to reduce spending. The rest is left to the people to make best use of the opporunity in accodance with the valid regulations.


by: Alex Smith from: Russia
May 20, 2012 2:40 PM
Romney has independence fron Mr. Putin (Russia). God bless him. The USA is a good.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid