Presidential Polls 2012: Obama is Still the Favorite to Win Key Swing States, and the Presidential Race

Recent polls from Real Clear Politics show that the presidential race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is still tight nationally. 

Obama, however, continues to maintain a slight lead in many pivotal battleground states. Despite Romney’s surge after the first presidential debate, he has failed to overtake the president in many swing states that will be decisive on Nov. 6.

Following the first debate early in October, the polls had shifted in Romney’s direction. As a result, he has caught up with the president in the national race, even pulling ahead narrowly in some polls. Reviewing eight new daily tracking polls, Romney has a slim lead in five whereas Obama is ahead in three. 

Romney’s surge has also allowed him to make inroads in many important swing states. For instance, according to the Huffington Post Pollster Model, Romney has a razor-thin lead in Florida, as well as in North Carolina, a Southern swing state which the Obama campaign has more or less ceded.

Romney has portrayed himself as the candidate who is poised to win the election on the campaign trail. In fact, in his latest speeches, Romney sometimes said “when I’m president" instead of "if I’m president." But although it has been evident that Romney did get a boost in the wake of the first debate, that momentum seemed to have stalled. More specifically, the wave of Romney’s surge appeared to have, thus far, crashed against the president’s firewall in the Midwest, particularly those critical states of Wisconsin and Ohio. 

As it often said, no Republican presidential candidate has ascended to the presidency without winning the state of Ohio. This truism holds even more during the close of the election. Romney has an elusive path to 270 Electoral College votes, the number required to become president, and that path is made even more difficult without the Buckeye State. Currently, the president has a narrow but consistent edge (between 2 to 3 points according to the Huffington Post) in Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin and Ohio. According to this formula Obama would get 277 electoral votes, which is seven more than needed to get elected, if the president were to win those four aforementioned states.

Two weeks before the presidential election, Romney continues to talk as if the wind of victory is blowing in his direction. But the battleground polls show that this is far from the case. In fact, the president has never lagged behind in those crucial swing states that he would need to win for a second term in office.