Obama, Romney even amid economic worries
21 June 2012, 13:13
Washington - Fewer Americans believe the economy is
getting better and a majority disapproves of how President Barack Obama
is handling it, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
new financial filings reveal that although major donors supporting the
president and Republican challenger Mitt Romney spent millions of
dollars last month on their respective candidate, outside political
groups helping Romney are reaping a growing share of the largesse.
Election Day less than five months away, the new poll shows that Romney
has exploited concerns about the economy and moved into a virtually
even position with the president.
Three months of declining job
creation have left the public increasingly glum, with only 3 out of 10
adults saying the country is headed in the right direction. Five months
before the election, the economy remains Obama's top liability.
not going to vote for Obama," said Raymond Back, a 60-year-old
manufacturing plant manager from North Olmsted, Ohio, one of the most
competitive states in this election. "It's just the wrong thing to go. I
don't know what Romney is going to do, but this isn't the right way."
has lost the narrow lead he had held just a month ago among registered
voters. In the new poll, 47% say they will vote for the president and
44% for Romney, a difference that is not statistically significant.
poll also shows that Romney has recovered well from a bruising
Republican primary, with more of his supporters saying they are certain
to vote for him now.
Still, in a measure of Romney's own
vulnerabilities, even some voters who say they support Romney believe
the president will still be re-elected. Of all adults polled, 56%
believe Obama will win a second term.
With his Republican
nomination now ensured, Romney has succeeded in unifying the party
behind him and in maintaining a singular focus on making the election a
referendum on Obama's handling of the economy.
The poll is not
good news for the president, and it reflects fluctuations in the
economy, which has shown both strength and weakness since it began to
recover from the recent recession.
The new survey illustrates
how an ideologically divided country and a stumbling recovery have
driven the two men into a tight match.
About half — 49% — approve of how Obama is handling his job as president, dropping him below the 50% mark he was above in May.
Poll no surprise
of Obama is highest — 55% — for his handling of the economy. Still,
registered voters are split virtually evenly on whether Romney or Obama
would do a better job improving it.
Obama's overall 49% approval
rating is not unlike the approval ratings George W Bush faced in June
2004 during his re-election campaign when he and his Democratic
challenger, John Kerry, were also locked in a dead heat.
polling numbers come as no surprise to either camp. Both Romney and
Obama advisers have anticipated a close contest that will be driven
largely by economic conditions. The Obama camp is busy trying to define
Romney, hoping it is reaching more independents.
Besides weak job
growth and still high unemployment, Obama is at the mercy of European
countries struggling with a debt crisis that has already sent ripples
across the Atlantic.
At the same time, there are signs that the
housing industry may be on the mend. US builders started work on more
single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes
and apartments in 3 1/2 years.
Those types of crosscurrents are
also evident in politics. While preferences for November are evenly
split, a majority believes Obama will still be re-elected, a shift from
an even split on the question seven months ago.
In December, 21%
of Republicans said they thought Obama would win re-election, that's
risen to 31% now. And among independents, the share saying Obama will
win has climbed from 49% to 60%. Among Democrats, it was 75% in both
The new financial
disclosures posted late on Wednesday night by a Republican "super"
political committee formed by veteran strategist Karl Rove show the
organisation he formed to help Republican causes group reaped $4.6m in
That will aid Romney, as will a separate $8m boost announced earlier in the day from another super PAC, Restore Our Future.
Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash but can't co-ordinate their efforts with the candidates they support.
of the multimillion-dollar Republican totals are impressive boosts from
a month earlier and are signs that Republican political committees are
widening the financial gap over their struggling Democratic Party
This raises the spectre that Obama, who broke
fundraising records four years ago by hauling in $750m, may be the first
incumbent president to be out-raised by his opponent.
Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted between 14-18 June by GfK Roper
Public Affairs & Corporate Communications. It involved landline and
cellphone interviews with 1 007 adults nationwide, including 878
Results from the full sample have a margin of
sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is 4.2 points
for registered voters.