Everyone in the political world is buzzing about a new New York Times/CBS poll that has Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama by one point, and shows the incumbent slipping on economic issues and — most alarmingly — in favorability. Although the poll isn’t exactly good news for Obama, all of the numbers are still within the statistical margin of error, so Chicago probably isn’t panicking yet.
But there is another new survey out today that should really scare the Obama campaign.
A new Quinnipiac poll from Virginia shows that Romney has caught up with the Obama in the Old Dominion state, and is now in a dead heat with the President at 44 per cent to 44 per cent.
That compares to a 50-42 per cent lead for Obama in March, and a 47-42 per cent Obama lead last month.
As we have pointed out before, the 2012 presidential election will likely come down to just a handful of battleground states, so national polling numbers don’t matter as much as those in key swing states.
Virginia, with its 13 electoral college votes, is one of those states with the potential to determine the outcome of the election for either candidate. Obama took the state in 2008 with 52.7 per cent of the vote, becoming the only Democrat to win Virginia since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, and Republicans are eager to put the Old Dominion back in their column.
And this poll shows that it is going to be a dogfight to win over Virginia voters, particularly key independents.
“Virginia voters are sharply split along gender and political lines about the presidential race. The two candidates equally hold their own political bases and are splitting the key independent vote down the middle,” Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac University’s Polling Institute said in a release.
“One small edge that President Barack Obama has is likability. Voters have a slightly more favourable opinion of the president than they do Gov. Mitt Romney,” Brown added. “But neither man is exactly Mr. Popularity: Romney has a negative 39 – 42 per cent favorability, compared to Obama’s divided 46 – 48 per cent. One of them is going to win the White House, but neither would get elected Prom King.”
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