Presidential Polls 2012: Romney Trails Obama by 8 Points in Iowa, and the GOP Starts Sweating

Every new poll brings bad news for Mitt Romney. And a new Iowa survey is no exception. According to the Boston Herald, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll found the Romney/Ryan ticket trails Obama by 8 percentage points in the Hawkeye State. 

The survey, mirrored by recent internal polling from both parties, also found that only 40% had positive feelings about the Republican candidate, down from 43% in May. Conversely, the president's favorability increased to 53%, from a previous mark of 48%.

Though some predict the race will tighten somewhat in the upcoming days, as undecided voters start focusing on the debates, the numbers are nonetheless a problem for the Romney camp due to Iowa's early voting. 

Besides Romney's game-changing 47% gaffe, Democrats believe the president's advantage is due to a strategy of visiting the state in eight opportunities ahead of early voting. In addition, Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama's campaigning in the state have helped consolidate Obama's lead in what has traditionally been Republican country. Democrats have also run more than $20 million in ads, characterizing Romney as an out of touch millionaire.

Also, Romney’s criticism of Obama’s handling of the economy has been less effective in Iowa than in harder-hit states such as Florida and Nevada. Though Iowa's unemployment was up 5.5% from July to August, the number is still far below the 8.1% national average. 

Meanwhile, Nick Ryan, a veteran Iowa Republican strategist summed up a growing sense of frustration among GOP voters who are starting to feel Mitt Romney's candidacy is collapsing under poor organization and the former governor of Massachusetts' continuous gaffes, "There still is time to win, but we are in the fourth quarter."

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