In North Carolina, where President Obama was starting to open a lead over Republican presidential candidate Romney, the two are now tied according to recent polls, with each candidate’s lead falling within the margin of error. Until the end of the summer, North Carolina was considered a red or red-leaning state, and the fact that Obama was pulling ahead there marked the lowest point for Romney.
But Romney appears to be improving his numbers this week. A nationwide poll of the National Journal, which back on September 21 showed Obama as leading Romney by 50 to 43 percent, now says the two are tied. The average gap between the two candidates in all the current polls is 3.2 percent for Obama, still within the margin of error.
This means that a decisive performance by Romney in Wednesday night’s first debate with Obama would make a difference in the outcome of the November election.
The debate topic will be domestic policy, where Obama is vulnerable on many different fronts. If Romney will manage to rattle his opponent’s cage a little, he could help his own cause considerably.
The National Journal poll results also reveal an advantage for Romney nationwide in terms of the composition of the likely voters who favor him.
Romney has the support of 55% of White voters. And while he scores poorly among voters ages 18-29, he leads Obama in all the other age groups, including—most crucially—voters age 65 or older. Despite the fear of older voters that vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will take away their Medicare and Social Security, as the Democrats have been telling them, older Americans surveyed in this poll favor the Romney ticket by 48 to 47 points.
Women like Obama by 7 points more than Romney, while men prefer Romney by 8 points.
The entire Black population of the United States prefers Obama (98%). but will African Americans show up at the polls with the same enthusiasm they showed back in 2008?
To judge by the almost visceral rage some White voters are showing against Obama, we can expect more angry Whites than supportive Blacks come election day.
In the swing states, Obama is still doing better than his rival, but not as he has done a week ago. In Florida his support is down to just 2 points. Obama’s lead in Virginia also hovers around 2 points. But Ohio is probably lost to the Republicans, barring a massive shift, possibly following tonight’s debate.
If you don’t own a television set (be proud, Jewish Press readers!) you can follow a live feed of the debate tonight here. Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 9 PM Eastern / 8 PM Central / 7 PM Mountain / 6 PM Pacific, 3 AM Thursday Israel Time.