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Democrats alarmed as US presidential race tightens

August 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug 27: Political pundits are saying that the Obama-Biden team can lose the next presidential elections.

Opinion polls, also released on Monday, sent a similar message, warning that the US presidential race, once tilted heavily in President Barack Obama’s favour, was now tightening.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Republican challenger Mitt Romney at 47 per cent among registered voters and President Barack Obama at 46 pc.

The survey pointed out that voters were more focused on Mr Obama’s handling of the flagging US economy than on other issues.

Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia’s Centre for Politics, told Post that Mr Obama was in a weaker position this election. “We’ve got a very close race nationally. It’s kind of a coin flip race at this point,” Mr Kondik said.

Another poll by Quinnipiac University/New York Times/ CBS News shows Mr Romney getting a small boost in swing states from his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan, who hails from Wisconsin, also a swing state.

In a separate poll from the University of Cincinnati, President Obama and Mr Romney are essentially tied in the key state of Ohio, 49 per cent to 46 per cent. The findings are within the margin of error.

The prestigious Rasmussen poll reports that President Obama and Mr Romney are running dead even in Ohio, at 45 per cent each.

Ohio is considered a “battleground” state because it has a large number of independent voters. In the last 11 elections, the candidate who won Ohio also won the presidential election.

According to a Fox News poll of likely voters, the Romney-Ryan ticket receives the backing of 45 per cent, while the Obama-Biden ticket gets 44 per cent.

The Obama campaign is also noticing this change.

“Three months in a row, Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have trounced our fundraising totals. And, along with allied outside groups, they're using that cash to try to obliterate our side on the airwaves, outspending us in some battleground states by margins of up to three to one,” Mr Biden said in a message to his supporters.

“The pundits are saying this is how we could lose the election,” he warned, urging supporters to “get up” as “there's no quit in America”.

Mr Biden pointed out that the Republican National Convention in Florida this week could bring more funds for the Republican ticket.

The Democrats were also launching the biggest fundraising deadline of the 2012 campaign, he said.

“President Obama and I are counting on you,” said Mr Biden while seeking $5 each from the supporters.

Overall, Mr Romney still trails Mr Obama by about 2.7 percentage points nationwide, notes a right-leaning political surveyor, RealClearPolitics.

The Fox News noted that both tickets had already gained the support of many of their key voting blocs.

Mr Romney has the edge among white Evangelical Christians (70-18 per cent), white voters (53-36 per cent), married voters (51-38 per cent), men (48-40 per cent) and seniors (50-41 per cent).

Mr Obama has the advantage among Black voters (86-6 per cent), women (48-42 per cent), lower income households (53-35 per cent), young voters (48-39 per cent) and unmarried voters (55-34 per cent).

Independents back Mr Romney by 42-32 per cent (one in four is undecided). Independents were vital to Mr Obama’s 2008 victory, backing him over Republican John McCain by 52-44 per cent. About one voter in 10 is undecided or says they’ll vote for someone other than Mr Obama and Mr Romney. Among undecided voters Mr Romney is viewed more negatively than positively by 28 percentage points, while Mr Obama is viewed more negatively by 12 points.