New surveys from The Washington Post and the polling partnership of CBS News, The New York Times and Quinnipiac University on Ohio and Florida produced large leads for President Barack Obama, pointing to a consistent gain in enthusiasm among Democratic partisans for Obama since the party conventions.
In Ohio, Obama leads in the CBS/Times/Quinnipiac poll by 10 percentage points (53 to 43 percent), and the Washington Post poll by 8 percentage points (52 to 44 percent). In a visit to Ohio, Obama described a five-point plan to increase employment and lay a foundation for the U.S. economy. Interviews with Republican strategists and elected officials across Ohio revealed no easy explanation for Mitt Romney’s failure to catch on fire. Some people pointed to the lack of enthusiasm on Romney’s opposition to the federal bailout of Chrysler and General Motors. Other people blame Romney’s lack of political skills, and label him a stiff.
The slow U.S. economic recovery and high unemployment rate have made the economy a top issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. Obama frequently denigrates Mitt Romney for outsourcing jobs to other countries. Bloomberg reports the public continues to view Romney as disconnected from their lives and not concerned with their challenges. Obama has called for raising income taxes on the top 2 percent of earners, and Romney has advocated extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans to stimulate the economy and facilitate job creation. Romney has vowed to repeal the health-care and financial reforms laws of 2010.
In Florida, a state many people consider a necessary win for Mitt Romney, survey results indicated Obama leads on the CBS/Times/Quinnipiac poll, the Washington Post poll, and the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Mason Dixon poll. CBS News reports: “Nearly half of Florida Democrats now say they are more enthusiastic about voting than in the past.”
The CBS/Times/Quinnipiac and Washington Post polls reported the partisan composition, percentages of voters who identified themselves as Democrats, Republicans or independents. Current polls indicate more independents among voters than in the 2008 election. However, voters usually express a greater sense of partisanship after voting than weeks or months before voting.
The pollsters who carry out the CBS/Times/Quinnipiac and Washington Post surveys do not directly set the partisanship or the demographics of their voter samples. The pollsters sample all adults in each state, weighting the demographics (gender, age, race, education) of the adult sample to match Census estimates for the population. Then pollsters select “likely voters.” These are people who indicate they are likely to vote. The demographic characteristics are not adjusted.