Elections 2012: Obama Holds Slim Lead over Romney before Tuesday’s Debate

Three weeks before the November 6 presidential election, President Obama leads Romney by 2 percentage points, with 47 percent support from likely voters in the national online poll, to 45 percent support for Romney.

President Barack Obama walks with Chief of Staff Jack Lew during a break from debate preparations in Williamsburg, Va., Oct. 14, 2012. Photo: Pete Souza/The Official White House

Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans have been blaming President Obama hard for his handling of diplomatic security. More, his administration was blamed for attacks in Egypt and Libya on September 11. Moreover, the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in Libya.

But the poll did not find a groundswell of objection for the White House. Forty-five percent of registered voters approved of Obama’s handling of the situation in Libya and Egypt and 40 percent disapproved. Thirty-eight percent backed Romney on the issue, compared with 36 percent who did not.

As Reuters says, thirty-seven percent of registered voters picked Obama as having better policies for dealing with terrorism, compared with 32 percent for Romney. And 43 percent favored Obama on gay marriage, compared with Romney’s 25 percent.

Also Obama’s ratings on taxes also went up by four points, as did voters’ view of his plans for Social Security and Medicare by 3 points each.

While Romney’s scores each went up by 3 points on how he would manage with the war on terrorism and gay marriage, although Obama was still ahead on both.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 49% of voters nationwide, comparing with President Obama who earns the vote from 48%. Nationally, Romney has had a slight lead or been tied on nine of the past 10 days. Before that, Obama had been ahead or tied for 16 consecutive days.

In the 11 swing states, Mitt Romney and President Obama are now tied with 48% support each. One percent (1%) likes another candidate in the race, and two percent (2%) are still undecided.

According to Reuters, Romney kept a big lead of 38 percent to 29 percent on who has a better plan for handling the deficit, and a small lead of 38-37 percent on who would better handle the U.S. economy. Obama was just ahead, at 39 percent to 38 percent, on jobs and employment.

Some experts say: Even as the head-to-head number held stubbornly steady for the past month, Romney improved his likability numbers. A slim majority, 51 percent, now views Romney favorably as a person, while 44 percent view him unfavorably.

Mr Obama claimed his intensive four-day practice session had been “going great”, after an earlier complaint that debate preparation was “a drag” prompted suggestions that he did not even want the job.

Democratic strategists warned that Obama must make a forceful case for his own re-election rather than merely painting Mr Romney as a radical conservative elitist with hardly probable economic proposals.

“It’s been clear for a long time that a latent majority has been willing to consider replacing President Obama,” William Galston, a senior White House adviser to Bill Clinton, said The Daily Telegraph.

“The response of the Obama campaign has been to try to undermine the acceptability and credibility of Mr Romney. But the first debate blew up that strategy, and there’s no resuscitating it”.

It became known that the two men meet again on Tuesday night at New York’s Hofstra University in a debate that Obama needs to win to grab back the campaign momentum.  And the third debate is set for October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida.

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