On Thursday, October 25, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell publicly endorsed the President for reelection. This is the second time that Powell has offered his endorsement to Obama, and he made the announcement on CBS's This Morning.
“I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012,” said Powell, a Republican. “I will be voting for him and Vice President Joe Biden next month.” Powell was criticized by members of the Republican Party in 2008 for endorsing Obama over McCain.
As Colin Powell endorses Obama for the second time, he says of his 2008 endorsement:
"We were in a terrible recession - almost a state of depression - and we had lost 800,000 jobs in the first month of the Obama administration. Unemployment peaked a few months later at ten percent, so we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing, and housing was starting to collapse as well. Over the next several years, stabilization came back in the financial community, and housing is now starting to pick up after four years."
Powell has been known to disagree with the Republican Party, although he is a high ranking member. He said of Governor Romney:
"I have the utmost respect for Governor Romney, but as I listen to his proposals more, especially with respect to our economy. It's basically, let's cut taxes, and compensate that for other things. That compensation does not cover all of the cuts intended or new expenses associated with defense."
Powell further elaborated that he had some problems with Governor Romney's approach to foreign policy, saying, "One day he has a certain strong view on what he wants to do in Afghanistan, then this past Monday night he agreed with a withdrawal of troops."
"I'm a Republican, but at the end of the day, you have to find a basis for compromise," said Powell of working for three Republican Presidential cabinets.
Powell concluded the interview by posing the question to Charlie Rose: "What party do you associate with?"
Rose simply replied, "I'm an independent."
So what are the polls reflecting after this major endorsement?
The most recent Gallup poll shows the race is extremely close, with the president favored 48%, and Governor Romney at 47%. According to the Ramussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, Romney has 50% of voters, while Obama is at the 47% mark. Public Policy Polling found that 49% of voters support President Obama, 48% of for Romney, and 3% of voters are undecided.
Powell's endorsement of the president might provide a major push for Obama's campaign in the last leg of the race, but so far polls reflect little, if any, effect on the President's numbers. Each individual poll is seemingly favoring either candidate, with a margin of two to three points, at the most. This endorsement was a very calculated move on the behalf of Powell, and with a little over one week until Election Day, it will be interesting to see who else will be endorsing the candidates this late in the game.