President Barack Obama may be doing well compared to his Republican challengers in overall nationwide polling, but state by state electoral votes will be what really matters in the end. And in that regard, the incumbent looks like he’d better get working.
A new poll out by Gallup has Obama trailing Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, with Obama trailing Romney by 5 points and Gingrich by 3.
Via USA Today:
Most other states and the District of Columbia are all but guaranteed to be won by one party or the other, giving Obama a likely base of 196 electoral votes and the Republican nominee a base of 191. A candidate needs 270 to win the White House.
But these battlegrounds — chosen based on their voting histories, the results of the 2010 midterms and demographic trends — are up for grabs. Obama carried all of them in 2008 and needs to claim half of their electoral votes this time to win a second term.
In swing states, Obama trails former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among registered voters by 5 points, 43% vs. 48%, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich by 3, 45% vs. 48%.
That’s a bit worse than the president fares nationwide, where he leads Gingrich 50%-44% and edges Romney 47%-46%.
Even more daunting for the reelection campaign? The number of Democrats in these states have gone down, while the number of those identifying as Republican or Independent has increased. Politico reports, “During the same period, the number of Republicans rose 5 percentage points, while the number of independents increased by a whopping 7 points — from 35 percent in 2008 to 42 percent. In the 12 swing states, 44 percent of those surveyed are conservatives and 21 percent are liberal.”
Without a way to swing those Independents to his side, Obama could be looking at a new home in 2013.
Photo from whitehouse.gov