President Barack Obama has opened up a three-point lead over Mitt Romney nationally, according to a new poll released this morning. The poll, conducted by Politico and George Washington University, has Obama edging out Romney, 50 per cent to 47 per cent, echoing other recent national surveys that have shown Obama pulling ahead of his Republican opponent. Like a lot of other polls, however, the latest results are within the polls margin of error, indicating that the presidential race remains a toss-up with just six weeks to go until Election Day.
But a deeper look inside the Politico/GWU poll results reveals that, while Romney has an opening to pull ahead, Romney’s window of opportunity may be closing. Only 13 per cent of voters said they would consider voting for another candidate, down from about 20 per cent in last month’s poll.
Even worse for Romney, a full 60 per cent of voters now believe Obama will win the election, regardless of who they plan to vote for. Only 30 per cent of those surveyed said they think Romney will win.
Here are some other troubling signs for Romney:
- Obama’s job approval rating has risen since last month, and is now at the 50 per cent threshold considered crucial for an incumbent seeking re-election. Meanwhile, Romney’s unfavorability rating has risen to 49 per cent, up from 46 per cent last month.
- Obama has erased his opponent’s advantage on key economic issues. He now leads Romney by one point on the question of which candidate would better handle the economy, 49 per cent to 48 per cent, and has tied Romney on the question of who would better handle jobs. Obama also leads by significant margins on the issues of foreign policy (52-43), taxes (50-46), Medicare (52-43), and standing up for the middle class.
- 30-seven per cent of voters think the country is headed in the right direction. While that number is still very low, Politico’s James Hohmann points out that it is the highest percentage since 2010. Hohmann also notes that only 57 per cent believe the country’s on the wrong track, down from 72 per cent in September 2011.
- Democrats are seeing gains across the board. The poll found that Democrats lead Republicans 47 per cent to 45 per cent on a generic Congressional ballot, flipping the results from last month’s poll.
The latest survey does have some bright spots for Romney. The Republican nominee has a two point lead among Independent voters, and leads Obama by five points on the question of which candidate would better handle the federal budget and spending.
The survey shows Romney leading among Catholic voters, a key swing demographic, with 51 per cent support. He has also made gains with female voters and Hispanics, two constituencies where Obama has so far had a strong advantage, and even broke his campaign’s 38 per cent benchmark among Latinos, and now polling at 40 per cent with those voters.
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