A new Gallup Poll is good news for President Barack Obama or good news for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or good or bad news for both — depending on how you want to spin it. But the bottom line is this:
Romney and Obama are now tied in key swing states:
Registered voters nationally and in 12 key swing states are evenly divided in their preferences for president in the 2012 election between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. Romney is at least somewhat more competitive versus Obama than either Rick Perry or Herman Cain, in polling conducted before the recent allegations of sexual harassment against Cain surfaced.
This will bolster Romney’s boosters’ argument — not exactly wowwing ’em among members of the conservative base — that the party MUST go with Romney since he is the most electable.
The “swing state” results are from the initial USA Today/Gallup Swing States poll, based on Oct. 20-27 Gallup Daily tracking in 12 states that will be among the most crucial to winning the 2012 presidential election. The states include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. USA Today and Gallup will report on voters’ preferences in this group of states at least monthly leading up to the 2012 election.
The comparison national presidential trial-heat results reported above are based on Gallup Daily tracking Oct. 26-27. These are similar to what Gallup measured nationally earlier this year. Romney and Obama were essentially tied in Gallup’s September presidential trial heat update, with Obama having a slight edge versus Perry. This is Gallup’s first measurement of Obama versus Cain. In general, these trial heats are more favorable to Obama than Gallup’s measure of Obama versus a generic Republican, which generally shows Obama trailing.
All eyes will be on the next national poll to see how Cain does. Is Cain a Teflon candidate? Or even a mercury candidate? There are no major signs yet (as of this writing) that his candidacy’s ascent is in serious trouble among GOPers who’ll pick the nominee.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.