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So Why are Voters Still Choosing Obama?

With Romney beating Obama on the economy and the "likability gap" closing, Romney's chances this November are improving.

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Last week’s U.S. presidential debate was a victory for Romney on all accounts, especially if one judges by the closing statements, where Obama couldn’t muster any specific reason why voters should re-elect him aside from the fact that he was trying really hard as president.

Even when Obama wished his wife a “happy anniversary” – which appeared, at least to me, a totally unromantic political move – Romney smoothly countered wishing the President a happy anniversary and joking how “romantic” it must be for the president to be spending his wedding anniversary with Romney.

Looking at polls on how people view the candidates, I’m beginning to wonder why it is that Obama leads Romney in national polls and whether that is going start to change in a big way.

On the economy, which is the top issue among voters, Romney has long maintained an edge against Obama. In a Wall Street Journal-NBC poll conducted in April, for example, 40 percent said that Romney had “better ideas to fix the economy” to Obama’s 34 percent. A Rasmussen poll a few days before the debate, showed that 51 percent trusted Romney on the economy to Obama’s 44 percent.

In “likeability,” Obama has traditionally had Romney beat. In that Wall Street Journal-NBC poll from April voters were asked questions like “who do you think would be better at. . .being easy going and likable?” or “caring about average people?” or “looking out for the middle class?” Obama beat Romney two-to-one or better on each.

But in post-debate polls of people who watched the debate conducted by CBS and CNN Romney did a lot better. In the CBS poll people said they liked both candidates. In the CNN poll, Romney beat Obama on likability 46 to 45 percent. A whopping 58 percent said Romney “seemed to be the stronger leader” to Obama’s 30 percent.

In the April WSJ-NBC poll, Voters said they would choose Obama over Romney 49 to 43 percent. But if the likability gap is closing and people favor Romney on the most important issue, it is hard to imagine why voters would still choose Obama over Romney. And indeed, the latest Rasmussen poll from October 6th gives Romney a two-point lead over the President (49-47 percent). In that poll, one-third of respondents were interviewed before the debate, so if all were interviewed after the debate it’s possible that the gap would be even wider in Romney’s favor.

Since the debate, the New York Times reports that Romney is focusing on his “softer side,” telling personal stories and showing a 10-minute biographical video before rallies. If Romney and his team can succeed and keep that “likability gap” closed, there may be reason to believe that Obama can be beat in November.

Oh, and if you still haven’t seen the debate, here it is:

Daniel Tauber

About the Author: Daniel Tauber is the Executive Director of Likud Anglos, and a former Opinions Editor at JewishPress.com. Daniel is also an attorney admitted to practice law in Israel and New York and received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. You can follow him on facebook and twitter.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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  1. Liad Bar-el says:

    Daniel, you as an attorney, really should have training/experience in recognizing the validity of the polling sources of your materials before quoting them in order to publish an article that would have some semblance of truth for all of them are democrat supporting. Even though some find Romney in the lead the results could really be of a much larger percentage than what we are led to believe. In short, your question: “so why are voters still choosing Obama?” is misleading and prejudice for it is quite clear than you are an Obama supporter.

  2. Indeed. Citing Rasmussen is almost a joke, being a notorious poll shop. Romney is a junk sales peddler, a tax evader, an outsourcer, a guy who said "I like to be able to fire people", a guy who said "I thought being rich and famous would make me happy and, boy, I was right". How gross.

  3. Indeed. Citing Rasmussen is almost a joke, being a notorious republican poll shop. Romney is a junk sales peddler, a tax evader, an outsourcer, a guy who said "I like to be able to fire people", a guy who said "I thought being rich and famous would make me happy and, boy, I was right". How gross.

  4. The elections in the United States have become major competition for Jersey Shore and the main stream media is prolonging misunderstandings and not helping the voter to make a dicision. Everyone and I mean every one is being sold a story which is there to cloud the reason behind the election. America is confronting a global economy and is having to deal with left over problems of George Bush. There are no clear paths to correcting past decisions and there are perhaps too few patriotic Americans wilingl to stay on the side of the USA political stage We have special interest groups who are forcing their positions on the public regardless of the outcome for the USA. The question of Mr. Tauber perhaps is designed to ask the Jewish vote to reconsider Romney. I ask myself if the Taubler Blog takes into consideration American Jews who just do not want America to face another war.

  5. Stephen Leavitt says:

    Interesting that the NY Times was practically the only paper that didn't really say outright that Romney beat Obama in the debate.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Johan Frederik Hel Guedj Obama does not defend or protect the '99%', are you kidding? He sides with Monsanto in the debate over GE food; he sides with the oil companies over the environment, he jails federal whistleblowers, crushes nonviolent dissent, bails out banks, refuses to prosecute financial fraud, breaks every promise of his '08 campaign…..and he's a warmonger. Get real.

  7. Louise Kittle says:

    We are not all for Obama, I have already voted in early elections and have voted for Romney. Our nation cannot afford another four years of his policies. I cannot believe how the media is very one-sided in Obama's favor. They tell us what they want us to know. Fox news is about the only station that tells it like it really is. It seems to me the the Obama lovers have blinders on their eyes. I cannot understand how any person of the jewish faith would vote for him, but unfortunately, there are many who are. God help us if he is reelected.

  8. Kirk Lohr says:

    Be careful, if you don't like obama you will be labeled a racist.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Another war ? No its not about that.
    The majority of American's had no problem with Obama's illegal war in Libya or the latest one in Syria he has entered into surreptitiously.
    it has more to do with blind allegiance to their false messiah who can do no wrong.
    The devout cult of idol worshipers would vote for him even if he had innocent Jewish blood dripping from his hands.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Johan Frederik Hel Guedj, blind repetition of what you've heard from someone and somewhere does not make it true; I am tired of hearing and reading this bs over and over again. So you are not right, but sadly very wrong

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is one Jew who will be voting for Romney this time around. I don't like having to do that. It amounts to voting for the lesser of two evils.

  12. Yehuda Cohen says:

    I agree. Daniel, not all are still voting for Obama because of the facts that he supports the MB, is against Israel, hates Jews, etc. Regardless of these facts, only you are still voting for him.

  13. OK, I'll parrot some more, for your pleasure only. In my book, a fortune of 250 million dollars and 12 million dollars in annual earnings and paying 13 % taxes using every possible loophole should disqualify any candidate to the highest office – or to any public office, at that. This is an insult for the hard earning people. I'd rather take Bill Gates or Warren Buffett asking to pay more taxes. A matter of decency.

  14. This guy has no deep conviction, he's headed in two direction, like a guy whose left shoe don't follow the Right one.

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