Thursday Sep 20, 201209:03 AM GMT
New US poll shows Obama leading Romney by 8 points
US President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
US President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
A new poll in the United States has placed the country’s President Barack Obama ahead of his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney by eight points across the nation as the November election draws closer.


The results of the fresh national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and published on Wednesday indicated that 51 percent of likely voters would pick Obama compared to the 43 percent who would pick Romney.

Obama's popularity, according to the polling agency, remains the highest among African Americans, women and voters younger than 30 years old, setting him "in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates."

Pew's survey of 2,424 registered voters was reportedly completed prior to this week's controversy over Romney's videotaped remarks, insisting that nearly half of American voters were dependant on government payouts and not paying income taxes. It thus demonstrated that voters were almost evenly divided about which presidential contender they would prefer on the issues of jobs and the national deficit.

The poll further showed Obama leading gaffe-prone Romney on most contentious issues among US voters, such as health care, Medicare and abortion rights.

Moreover, the Pew survey demonstrated that the incumbent US president led his Republican rival by a 3-to-1 margin on the question of which candidate connects well with the voters.

Romney further trailed Obama 50 to 40 percent when the poll participants were asked who shares their values.

Pew President Andrew Kohut has reportedly emphasized, however, that Obama's major advantage in such categories is more due to Romney's persisting troubles connecting with voters than anything specifically accomplished by Obama himself.

"No previous presidential candidate," Kohut wrote in his analysis of the survey, "has been viewed so unfavorably at this point in a presidential campaign in Pew Research or Gallup September surveys going back to 1988."

The poll, he adds, was conducted a week after the end of the Democratic National Convention and therefore "doesn't reflect the immediate emotion" of the convention.

A number of presidential polls published in the past 24 hours have, with the exception of one, shown Obama leading Romney nationally from 1 to 5 percentage points. The Rasmussen tracking poll is the only survey that shows Romney leading by a single point.

MFB/HJL
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