Analysis: Minimal impact of jobs reports highlights some electoral realities
Earlier this year, when the economy seemed to be gaining strength, Obama appeared to benefit. But that rise mostly came from Democrats who seized on the improving economic data to rally round a president they already were inclined to support. At this point, partisans on both sides have pretty much moved to their respective corners, and the presidential race reflects a deeply entrenched split.
Over the past 20 years, Republican presidential candidates have averaged 44.5 percent of the popular vote in presidential campaigns; Democratic candidates have averaged 48.4 percent (third party candidates account for the rest). Currently, in Gallup's tracking, that's exactly where the two candidates sit, Obama 48 percent, Romney 44 percent — each man polling at the generic average level of his party.
The relatively small number who remain undecided or willing to change their minds generally are people who do not closely follow the news. In another Pew poll taken last month, news of the economy was the story that had garnered the most attention, but only 35 percent of those surveyed said were following the subject "very closely."
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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