In Perspective: Polls

chart candidates romney obama santorum

As Santorum gains momentum and catches up to Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries, it is always good to put everything in perspective. Whoever the Republican nominee will be, to win the Presidency, they will need to face the incumbent President Obama. CBS news recently compiled a poll chart comparing Barack Obama to Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich. This chart also provides the past polling numbers taken throughout January, a significant month for candidates during the early primary stage. From these polls, it shows that Obama is still leading. Obama is leading about 6% against Romney and about 8% against Rick Santorum. For the other candidates, he has the majority vote and a large leading margin. This proves two things. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are close together in the polls and they are the two most likely candidates to become the Republican nominee. Another thing that we can learn from this chart is that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are within a margin of error to beating Obama. This can easily shift if Romney and Santorum convince independent and swing voters. Although Obama successfully accomplished this when he was first running for the Presidency, it is possible for Romney and Santorum to convince moderate voters that they are the better candidates. Americans are beginning to doubt Obama’s ability to fix the economy. If Obama can speed up the process and plan that he had for fixing the economy and providing more jobs, he will most likely maintain his lead and win a second term of Presidency. Yet, in the meantime, if Romney and Santorum continue to attack Obama and his past records in creating job, they can gain some support to close that lead between Obama.

Besides looking at the present polls, CBS has provided us with past polling dates taken on January 9th (after the Iowa caucuses) and January 18th (after the New Hampshire caucuses). For Mitt Romney, he was leading by 2% after the Iowa caucuses. Yet, Obama closed that gap by receiving the same percentage of votes as Romney. As for Santorum, Obama has always led in the polls. Although, after coming in 4th in the New Hampshire primaries, he lost 5% of the votes which put a leading margin for Obama at 11%. Candidates like Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have slowly seen a decline in the polls and a gaining leading margin for Obama. I find this ironic, especially for Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich was in the forefront along with Romney for the early party of the year. Yet, his polls indicate that Americans would rather vote for Obama instead of Gingrich. This proves that it comes down to which candidate can stand a chance against Obama in the general elections. It doesn’t necessarily matter whether Gingrich wins against Mitt Romney or is Santorum takes the lead, voters are looking at whether each candidate is qualified enough to face the incumbent President of the United States.

In another poll that CBS recently conducted, tracks Obama’s approval rating. During his Presidency, Obama has had times where he had low approval ratings and times where he had high approval ratings. Below is the poll chart.

In comparing Obama’s approval rating over time, you can see how certain events correlate with the ratings. In the months of September to December 2012, Obama’s approval ratings went below 50% . This was caused by a political shift as the Tea Party movement gained momentum. This was around the midterm elections. The Tea Party began gaining followers and changing the outcome of the midterm elections of governors, Senators, and other government positions. Another low point in the Obama administration was this past August-December of 2011. The economy was staggering and people were beginning to doubt Obama’s ability to fix it. Also, this is when  the Republican candidates were being introduced and new ideas in fixing the economy were being presented. Although, recently, Obama has gained in the polls for his approval ratings. Many feel that it is getting better. This helps Obama as he is getting ready to begin his campaign against the Republican Presidential candidates. Below is a link to an interactive poll chart compiled by Real Clear Politics. You can see the exact percentage in approval ratings in Obama’s Presidential term.

So, overall, Obama is gaining support, both among voters and against Republican candidates like Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul.






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