Barack Obama clobbers Mitt Romney in three new polls — but does it matter?
Charles Dharapak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
NBC News noted Friday that three new national presidential polls all show Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by at least seven percentage points.
"There's clearly movement toward the president and clearly problems for Romney personally," NBC News reported. "We had found it in our polling for the last month and it hadn't shown up everywhere yet. Now it has. The latest evidence: three new polls out today all showing President Obama leading Romney by seven points or more and at or near 50 percent: CNN, 52-45; Fox, 49-40; Reuters/Ipsos, 49-42. What's more, Romney continues to have an image problem. In CNN, Obama's (favorability rating) is plus-14, Romney's minus-1. And in Fox, Obama's plus-12, Romney's plus-1."
Politico chief columnist Roger Simon also penned similar sentiments Thursday while making the observation that national polling is trending strongly in Obama's favor. Simon wrote, "Shouldn't Romney be wiping the floor with Obama? By the measurements Romney uses again and again in his speeches — prolonged high unemployment, a failed economy and the unpopularity of 'Obamacare' — shouldn't Americans be rallying around Romney by a significant majority by now? But what do the Great Gods of Politics, the opinion polls, show? They show a country that still likes Obama more than it likes Romney. And by quite a bit."
However, New York Times' polling guru Nate Silver cautioned against forming hard-and-fast conclusions about the presidential race based on this round of polling with his Thursday blog post “National Polls Shouldn't Panic Romney.”
Silver, who was writing after seeing the CNN and Fox polls but before the Reuters/Ipsos data was released, explained: "I think the importance of these new polls could easily be overstated — and probably will be by some in the news media. One problem is that the trend toward Mr. Obama in national polls has hardly been uniform. Perhaps more importantly, there hasn't really been a lot of news to drive something on the order of a (significant) swing toward Mr. Obama.
"Might Mr. Obama have gained half a point, or a point, based on whatever residual factors that voters are thinking about? Sure, and Mr. Romney would rather that movement be in his direction instead. But has Mr. Obama gained three points, at a time when most ordinary Americans are watching the Olympics? Probably not."
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