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.
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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs