Obama rides wave of goodwill

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IOL pic sep10 barack obama poll

Associated Press

United States President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at West Palm Beach County Convention Centre in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Washington - President Barack Obama remained ahead of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney in a Reuters/Ipsos released on Sunday, maintaining a boost in popularity that followed the Democratic National Convention.

Of the 1 419 likely voters polled online over the previous four days, 47 percent said they would vote for Obama and 43 percent for Romney if the November 6 US election were held today.

The president's margin over Romney in the daily rolling poll was unchanged from Saturday's numbers, turning up the heat on Republican strategists who were hoping for a more muted post-convention “bounce” for Obama in the wake of Friday's release of weak employment numbers.

“It means (Democrats) are on good footing going into the rest of the election,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.

Obama's lead already was more sustained than a smaller and shorter-lived boost that Romney enjoyed after the Republican convention finished in Tampa, Florida, on August 30, Clark said. The Democratic convention ran through Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“The task is now to stay on the message as we're still quite a ways away from the election,” Clark said, reiterating her prediction that the gap in poll numbers between Obama and Romney is likely to narrow and stay close up all the way up to November 6.

Asked which of the two “will protect American jobs”, 42 percent of 1 660 registered voters picked Obama while 35 percent sided with Romney.

Obama's ranking in that category has climbed steadily over the past two weeks of the daily poll, starting with 34 percent on August 28, reaching 36 percent on September 6 and peaking on Sunday.

“The public view of the economy is much more about personal perception than reality,” Clark said, explaining that few people pay close attention to numbers or statistics. “The fact that the dialogue is in the public sphere and Obama has been defending his record, it's possible a little bit of that is sticking.”

At the same time, 72 percent of registered voters surveyed said the national economy and national deficit were on the wrong track, while 66 percent said the same about jobs and unemployment and 57 percent about the direction of things in the country in general, according to Sunday's poll numbers.

Asked how they felt toward Obama, 54 percent of registered voters were favourable. Romney's favourability trailed at 49 percent.

Sunday's findings wrap up a series of daily rolling polls aimed at gauging sentiment during the two weeks of party conventions. For the survey, a sample of registered voters was interviewed online from September 5-9.

The precision of Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for all respondents. - Reuters


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