New national polls are being released every other day, counting down until the Presidential election this November. But what do the numbers really mean for this year’s election efforts? How will Obama Approval Rating factor into the equation?
Most major polls have indicated that it’s going to be a close race between President Barack Obama and his presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney- as neither appear to have a clear advantage at this point.
Gallup conducted six full weeks of tracking surveys for the 2012 presidential campaign, and the final results are in. As many have already guessed, President Obama and Mitt Romney are virtually tied at 46 percent each. Considering the massive sample size used- 20, 565 registered voters were interviewed- and the resulting slim margin of error at below one percentage point, those intent on reading the political tea leaves need to delve much deeper.
The detailed data provided by Gallup Obama Approval Rating, which accounts for demographic subgroups, also paints a similar picture. Both Obama and Romney appear to be holding the expected numbers when it comes to partisan voters and even gender splits look to be even in the polling results. Independent voters, who are oft viewed as critical to winning the presidential election, are equal in their support of the two candidates. This is quite the departure from 2008 when Obama led the independent vote by 8 percentage points, helping him to secure the win. So what changed?
President Obama’s approval rating should be a major cause for concern. Although his job approval numbers haven’t dipped dramatically since he received a boost early in 2012, there is still plenty of time left between now and November. Our Commander in Chief hasn’t exactly had a smooth past month either, and the future doesn’t look to be much brighter. Almost every economic report that has been released in the past week or so indicate a reversal in the upward trends we saw earlier in the year. This spells trouble. After all, the economy is foremost on the minds of voters this election cycle.
As conventional wisdom would suggest, bad economic numbers won’t be helpful to his reelection efforts, especially when there is so little room to give in the first place. A poor May jobs report coupled with the sharp drop in stocks could very well wreak havoc on Obama’s approval ratings, and undermine whatever little edge he may have had on Romney.
Voter enthusiasm has already been on the decline according to recent polls, so the struggle for team Obama will be in finding that much needed bright spot to counter the anticipated dips. The President’s reelection team has a looming problem on their hands, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy fix.
Where did all the enthusiasm and intensity from four years ago go? How can the magic be recreated while trying to distance the President from today’s economic troubles? These are the very questions President Obama’s reelection team needs to answer and quick.