September 19, 2012

New Wave of Polls Gives Obama the Advantage


Whether you take the national view or go state-by-state, the polls all seem to show the same thing: President Obama has the advantage over Mitt Romney 48 days from Election Day.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday showed the president leading nationally among likely voters, 50 percent to 45 percent. It’s the first time he has hit 50 percent in the survey since March.

The president had closed the gap with Romney on the question of which candidate would do a better job of handling the economy, with the two men now tied at 43 percent. The Republican presidential nominee held a six-point lead on that measure in July.

At the same time, views about the economy also improved. Forty-two percent of Americans said they think the economy will get better in the next 12 months, a six-point uptick since last month, while 18 percent responded they expected it to get worse. About a third of respondents said the economy would stay about the same.

The president also appeared to be in better shape in the battleground states that will ultimately decide the fall campaign.

A batch of swing-state surveys released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News showed the president with a six-point lead in Wisconsin (51 percent to 45 percent), a four-point advantage in Virginia (50-46) and a narrow edge in Colorado (48-47).

The president’s standing in those three states was bolstered by the fact he has erased Romney’s advantage on handling of the economy. The GOP hopeful had a 10-point lead on the issue in Colorado last month, but he is now up by a single point, 48 percent to 47 percent. The president holds narrow leads of 49 percent to 47 percent in Virginia and 49 percent to 46 percent in Wisconsin.

A Washington Post poll of Virginia voters found the president with an eight-point spread on Romney, 52 percent to 44 percent. Along with Florida and Ohio, Virginia is high on the list of states Romney needs to turn red if he is to get to 270 electoral votes on Nov. 6.

USA Today and Gallup surveyed a dozen battleground states and found the president had a 48 percent to 46 percent advantage among likely voters, well within the poll’s margin of error and a point closer than a month ago. The survey showed the race even tighter nationally, with the president ahead 47 percent to 46 percent.

The one thing all these surveys have in common is that they were taken before the release of secret video that showed Romney making comments earlier this year at a private fundraiser, where he dismissed the president’s supporters as “dependent on government” and unwilling to “taking personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

While the full impact of the comments remains to be seen, it’s clear the president and his re-election team plan to make Romney pay a political price for his statements.