Poll Shows Obama Gaining Ground on Economy

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 15 2012 11:45 AM

Obama Pushes Economic Message as Poll Shows Romney No Longer Has Advantage on Issue

151960954
President Obama high-fives a boy after speaking at a campaign event Thursday in Golden, Colorado

Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images

Yet another poll brings good news for President Obama, bad news for Mitt Romney. The latest poll by the New York Times and CBS News puts the president three points ahead among likely voters, 49 percent to 46 percent. That number is within the margin of error but the importance here seems to be on the details. Voters give Obama an edge in essentially all issues except handling the budget deficit. And his approval rating of 51 percent marks the first time since right after the killing of Osama bin Laden that the number has crossed the 50-percent mark, notes the New York Times.

The poll also shows Obama with a one point advantage in the question of who would do a better job handling the economy and unemployment. Although clearly statistically insignificant, the fact that Obama is not lagging behind seems to be giving the president an opening to push his economic message in several key states. In a new TV ad set to run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia, Obama blasts Romney for proposing a plan that favors multimillionaires and not the middle class, reports the Associated Press. (Watch the ad after the jump.)  

Advertisement

The ad is also significant because it amounts to the Democratic rebuttal to Republicans' insistence that the president's camp would rather avoid the “were you better off than you were four years ago?” question. That question is taken head-on in the ad.

The message that Romney caters to millionaires seems to be sticking with the public. While 60 percent of likely voters say Obama understands the problems of people like them, only 46 percent say the same thing about Romney. In a striking contrast, only 12 percent think Obama’s policies would favor the rich, compared to 53 percent for Romney. It also seems Obama was able to use the Democratic National Convention to shore up his image. More voters now view the president more favorably than unfavorably, a reversal from last month. Perhaps that’s why Obama’s campaign was eager to use snippets from convention speeches in the new ad.

Yet it isn’t all rosy for the president. A majority of likely voters disapprove of how he has handled the economy and a full 70 percent say the economy is fairly bad or very bad. Plus, independent voters, who favored Obama by 8 percentage points in 2008, now seem to be leaning toward Romney by six percentage points.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 1:04 PM Which States Should Secede From the Union?
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon Who Wasn’t
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.