Ronald Radosh: Romney Edges Ahead, as the Obama Team Gets Desperate

Roundup: Historians' Take

Ronald Radosh is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at The Hudson Institute.

It is far too early to know whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will win the presidential election, but the latest polls must not be giving Obama much comfort. The New York Times/CBS poll, one heavily skewed to give the Democrats a bigger margin (surprise, surprise), shows Mitt Romney with a 3-point lead over the president. It is within the margin of error, but it nevertheless reveals Romney quickly widening what was a large gap in the president’s favor.  Sixty-two percent of the respondents said that the economy and jobs were most important to them in deciding who the candidate of their choice should be. In other words, Romney’s lead is due to the belief of those polled that he would be able to deal with producing jobs and improving the economy better than the president.

For the president’s base, his recent announcement in favor of gay marriage was greeted with an outpouring of gratitude. But when asked by the pollsters whether Obama’s support of same-sex marriage would make them more or less likely to vote for him, 26 percent said less likely and only 16 percent said more likely. A strong 57 percent said it would not influence their choice at all. Moreover, 67 percent of those polled said Obama’s announcement was done for political reasons, while only  24 percent thought he announced it because he thought it was right. To put it another way, Obama may have motivated his base, but in terms of the general election, his position has not helped him at all....

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