Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Obama Clings to a Narrow Lead

At the Wall Street Journal, "New Poll Shows Him Doing Better Than Romney in Swing States; Both Candidates Face Challenges."
President Barack Obama has managed to retain a narrow lead in his race for re-election despite a spate of poor economic news and surging GOP optimism about Mitt Romney's prospects, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out Tuesday has found.

The president outpolls Romney, his presumed Republican rival, 47 percent to 44 percent, a lead within the survey's margin of error and similar to the advantage he enjoyed a month ago. Obama's lead is wider in swing states, where the campaigns have battled most intensely.

The poll highlights challenges facing both candidates. While Obama retains a durable base of support, his standing among white, working-class voters, which was low to start with, continues to erode. Interest in the campaign is not nearly as intense as it was four years ago among young people and Latinos, who were important to Obama's victory in 2008.

At the same time, more people viewed Romney unfavorably than favorably by a six-point margin, with nearly one quarter of those polled viewing him "very negatively" -- twice the level in December. Romney's business background, which he has made a central element of his candidacy, is a draw for many, the poll found. But it is viewed negatively by even more people.

Overall, the survey presents the presidential race as both tight and stable. "It looks like a dead heat on a merry-go-round," said Peter Hart, the Democratic pollster who conducts the Journal survey with Republican Bill McInturff. "There is the appearance of motion, but the horses' positions haven't changed."

Obama's advantage is more pronounced among poll respondents in 12 battleground states which, taken as a group, favor him 50 percent to 42 percent. His larger lead in those states, which include Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Virginia, could reflect the impact of ads by his campaign that criticized Romney's record as a businessman and portrayed him as out of touch with the middle class.

"There are two campaigns -- the one being fought out in the press, and one in swing states," said McInturff. "We're seeing some indications that the advertising could be having an impact."

The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted June 20-24, after a month that seemed to offer much to buoy Romney. His fundraising was strong, the May jobs report was weak, and Obama was widely criticized for saying the private sector was "doing fine." Republican confidence grew after an effort by labor unions and their Democratic allies to recall Wisconsin's Republican governor failed.

The poll also had warning signs for Obama. His approval rating, 47 percent, dipped to its lowest level of the year, while more people disapproved of his economic stewardship -- 53 percent -- than at any time since December. Nearly two thirds said the country was on the wrong track.
Via My Fox Detroit.

The key is those battleground states. It's still early though and I personally think O's toast. But it's the Electoral College that counts, so we'll see.

And see Glenn's roundup on related ObamaCare polling, here.