Polls Show the Obama Romney Race Steadily Tightens: Back to Pre-Convention Levels
Several new polls show President Barack Obama’s post-convention “bounce” is starting to wear off — as is the impact of some of Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s terrible September of fumbles and gaffes.
The race is now back to a real horse race again — right in time for the high-stakes debate Wednesday night which has almost been obscured by partisan expectations games and a somewhat stunning Republican narrative suggesting that polls that show Romney falling behind are part of a shadowly political conspiracy.
Question: are Republicans calling THESE polls part of a conspiracy today (an easy answer)?
Two days before the first presidential debate, a new national survey indicates a very close contest between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the race for the White House.
(Watch Sean Hannity tonight. Will this be considered an inaccurate poll? Will he denounce this poll?)
And according to a CNN/ORC International poll, neither candidate appears to have an edge on the economy, which remains the top issue on the minds of Americans and which may dominate Wednesday night’s debate on domestic issues in Denver.
Fifty-percent of likely voters questioned in the CNN survey, which was released Monday, say that if the election were held today, they would vote for the president, with 47% saying they would support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. The president’s three point margin is within the poll’s sampling error.
Three other national polls of likely voters released in the past 24 hours also indicate a tight race. The other surveys are from ABC News/Washington Post, Politico/George Washington University, and American Research Group. A CNN Poll of Polls which averages all four surveys plus a Fox News poll released late last week puts Obama at 49% and Romney at 46% among likely voters.
(Is Rush Limbaugh warning today that those polls are part of a plot involving pollsters including Fox News’ and the liburral media? Kindly send us the video to embed if you have one of him denouncing these polls).
In the CNN/ORC poll, the national horse race stands pretty much where it was just before the two back-to-back party conventions in late August and early September.
“That’s a strong suggestion that whatever bounce President Obama received from his convention has, as expected, faded away,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “That’s why they call them ‘bounces’.”
When it comes to issues, the survey indicates that Obama and Romney are effectively tied when likely voters are asked which candidate would best handle the economy. Romney, however, appears to have an edge on the top two economic issues: unemployment and the budget deficit. Obama, by contrast, has the advantage on a variety of non-economic domestic issues such as education, Medicare and health care, and also polls strongly on taxes, traditionally a GOP issue. All of these issues will most likely be debated by the candidates Wednesday night.
The president has a 52%-45% advantage over Romney on foreign policy, which will be the focus of the third and final showdown between the two candidates on October 22.
But Romney and the GOP face a major short and long term challenge: Romney’s numbers among Latino voters are going down faster than a third hand computer purchased at a seedy swap meet:
President Obama holds a 73-21 percent lead over Mitt Romney among Latino voters, a new high-water mark for the president.
The new 52-point margin represents a high watermark for Obama in the weekly tracking poll from Latino Decisions, and is a significant jump from the 65-26 percent advantage he held six weeks ago.
Romney has failed to make inroads despite a push at the GOP convention to highlight Hispanic Republicans, while Latino voters who have tuned in during the period shortly before and since the conventions have mostly gravitated towards Obama.
Obama is polling a higher percentage in the poll than the 67 percent of the Latino vote he won four years ago, when GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won 31 percent, according to exit polls.
Romney himself said at a private fundraiser earlier this year that his campaign was “doomed” if it couldn’t make inroads with Hispanic voters, who make up a significant — and fast-growing — chunk of the population in key swing states including Florida, Nevada and Colorado.
A Romney campaign official told The Hill in August that the campaign’s goal was to win 38 percent of the Hispanic vote, though a Romney surrogate later said that figure might be for the swing states, not nationally.