Elections 2012: Obama Expands 6-Point Lead on Romney, Poll Finds

President Barack Obama has widened his lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney to six points in a national survey released Tuesday.

President Barack Obama greets people gathered outside of Deb’s Ice Cream & Deli in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 10, 2012. Photo: Pete Souza/The Official White House

Looks like voters surveyed by Reuters and Ipsos are giving the president Obama better grades on issues like healthcare and education.

Four months before the November 6 election, Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney among registered voters 49 percent to 43 percent, according to Reuters.

In June, for example, Obama held a slim 1-point lead over the former Massachusetts governor.

However, the Reuters poll is the president’s best showing in a national poll this month. A similar survey by the Washington Post and ABC News also released Tuesday showed the candidates deadlocked, writes The Hill.

President Obama’s improved rating was fueled partly by a slight rise in optimism about the future, with the number of Americans who think the country is on the wrong track dropping 5 percentage points to 58 percent.

Obama’s standing ticked up 1 point to 48 percent and the number of Americans who disapprove of his job performance dropped 3 percentage points to 47 percent.

At the same time, nearly six in 10 of those surveyed said the country was headed down the wrong track, versus 36 percent who said the nation was headed in the right direction.

More Americans — 45 percent — say the president’s performance on the economy has been unsatisfactory than the 35 percent who say the president is performance is acceptable.

The poll of 1,154 adults, including 885 registered voters, was taken between Thursday and Monday.

During the period, a weak labor report was issued on Friday that showed sluggish job gains and an unchanged unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in June.

“Last month was a particularly bad time for Obama but now the race seems to have returned to its normal position, which has Obama up a few points,” pollster Chris Jackson explains the results of the poll.

“It’s not like consumer confidence has turned a big corner, but people feel a little better about where they are and where they are going,” Jackson said. “Nothing bad has happened recently, and when nothing really bad happens people start feeling more optimistic.”

While Romney, a former head of a private equity firm, is attacking Obama’s leadership of the sluggish economy, Democrats have not let up in their requests that Romney release several more of his tax returns.

According to ABC News, even president Obama told ABC’s New Hampshire affiliate WMUR that he too would like Romney to be more transparent.

“What’s important is if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you’ve done and that you’re an open book. And that’s been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mitt Romney’s father,” said Obama.

“Obviously there are unpleasant aspects of being poked and probed, and I understand that,” Obama said. “But it’s important for you to say here’s who I am, and here’s how I’ve done.”

Romney responded saying that there is “nothing hidden” in his tax returns that have yet to be released.

“I don’t manage them. I don’t even know where they are,” said Romney. “That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate.”

“All of them have been reported to the government,” said Romney. “There’s nothing hidden there.”

“If, for instance, you own shares in Renault or Fiat, you still have to disclose that in the United States,” Romney said. “So, you know, I understand the president’s going to try to do anything he can to divert attention from the fact that his jobs record is weak and he has no plan to make things better.”

However, despite numerous attacks from Democrats, Mitt Romney faces critisism from fellow Republicans.

“He’s politically dumb and his campaign is run by amateurs. He doesn’t have a message and doesn’t know how to deliver a message. He’s a political let-down running on auto-pilot who needs to grab the controls.”

“He’s a man whom only friends, relatives and fellow Mormons will ever love. And his name is Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for President of the United States,” The Telegraph’s Peter Foster cites Conservative pundits and editorial columns, senior Republicans and two of the big beasts of the business world – Rupert Murdoch and the former talismanic chief executive of General Electric, Jack Welch, who have all voiced serious misgivings about Mr Romney’s ability to deliver victory in November.

Even John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, who is one of Mr Romney’s biggest backers, admitted in the past week that the American people “aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney”.

The message for Romney is clear. People fear that for the first time in living memory children will enjoy a lower standard of living than their parents. They would vote for Old Nick himself if he could offer them a future. But if Mr Romney wants that job, he needs to fight for it, and the latest polls confirm this.

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