Photo: davelawrence8 | Flickr
For only the second time in Fox News’ tracking of the theoretical — and now real — matchup between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the latter has surged to a two-point lead. In the latest Fox News poll, Romney holds a 46 per cent to 44 per cent lead over Obama, though that is well within the poll’s margin of error.
First, the reasons for Obama and Democrats to take a step back and put everything in perspective: The poll is an outlier of almost every other recent poll. Now you’re either thinking, “See?! Fox News is the only fair and balanced one!” Or you’re thinking, “See?! Fox News is lying!”
The latest Gallup poll has Obama at a 49-45 per cent advantage. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll has Obama up even more, at 50 to 41 per cent.
However, as we warned with the WaPo poll (WaPoll?), Voters trust Romney to handle the economy more than Obama, by a 47 to 43 per cent margin. On the No. 1 (economy) and No. 3 (deficit) issues in the upcoming election, voters trust Romney to handle them a lot more than Obama.
But this Fox News poll is important because the poll was taken after Rick Santorum dropped out of the race on Monday. This could be some sort of temporary boost for Romney, or it could be more of a sign that the Republican Party is rallying behind Romney. Indeed, 42 per cent of Republicans said they were “extremely” interested in the upcoming election, compared with 32 per cent of Democrats.
And in this Fox News poll, there is more bad news for Obama: First, he’s losing among Independents. He trails Romney in that group by a 43 to 37 per cent margin. For what it’s worth, in the Gallup poll, he leads Romney by eight points.
The poll also shows that the gender gap may not be as wide as perceived in other measures. Obama leads in the women vote by 8 percentage points, but lags behind on the male vote by 14 points.
In the Gallup poll and data from the Pew Research centre earlier this month, both showed that Obama enjoyed huge leads among women, especially with young women.
The last sign of trouble: Obama’s approval rating is down to 42 per cent, a five-point drop from last month. And it’s not because of Republicans. Rather, Democrats are the ones changing their minds. A Gallup poll, taken over the month of March, had his approval rating at 46 per cent.
Among voters who say the economy is “extremely” important, Romney has a 55-37 per cent advantage over Obama, and a 62-29 per cent edge among those who say the same of the federal deficit.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.