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An Obama landslide in the making?

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Fortune, it is said, favours the brave.

After some very lonely days in the public opinion surveys, United States President Barack Obama is enjoying an interesting bounce back.

According to the latest Pew Research Centre poll, America's first Black president is running ahead of Republican front-runners, Messrs Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in general election match-ups.

The Centre said its national survey was conducted March 7-11 among 1,503 adults, including 1,188 registered voters and 538 Republican and Republican-leaning voters.

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The poll results released yesterday also shows that Mr Obama's job approval rating has jumped to 50 per cent for the first time since May 2011, when his popularity rose upon news of the killing of 9/11 architect Osama bin Laden.

"Among all voters, Obama leads Romney by 12 points (54 per cent to 42 per cent) and Santorum by 18 points (57 per cent to 39 per cent). Obama's advantage among women voters, while largely unchanged from a month ago, remains substantial — 20 points over Romney and 26 points over Santorum," the Pew Research Centre poll said. "Obama also holds an enthusiasm advantage over both of his main GOP rivals," Pew added.

In a match-up with Mr Romney, President Obama enjoys 41 per cent of voters who say they support him strongly, compared with only 28 per cent who strongly support the former Massachusetts governor. Mr Obama holds a commanding 45 per cent to 28 per cent lead over Mr Santorum in strong support.

The pollsters also found that President Obama is widely viewed as likely to defeat either Mr Romney or Mr Santorum in the US presidential election in November as nearly six-in-10 registered voters (59 per cent) say that the president is likely to prevail if the election is between him and Romney, and about seven-in-10 (68 per cent) say that he is likely to beat Mr Santorum, if he becomes the GOP nominee.

For those who have been following the polls since the 2008 presidential elections, Mr Obama has seen his approval rating plummet almost month after month, as the US economy reeled from the recessionary blows.

However, Gallup News on Tuesday suggested that several positive indicators for President Obama's re-election campaign included rising economic confidence, climbing job approval rating and the growing number of Americans who believe the country was on the right track.

The turnaround is particularly important because it is coming at a time when the GOP is in full election mode for its series of primaries and would have been grabbing all the media attention, as they chip away at the performance of Mr Obama's Democratic administration.

One can imagine that at this rate, when Mr Obama really hits the campaign trail, the gap between him and the Republican candidates could become a chasm.

We don't have a crystal ball and anything can happen between now and the November elections. But another Obama landslide seems in the making.

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