President Barack Obama has a narrow lead over former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in Colorado and Nevada, and ties Romney in Iowa, according to an NBC/Marist poll released this morning.
Obama leads Romney in Colorado 48 percent to 46 percent, and leads in Nevada 45 percent to 44 percent. In Iowa, the two candidates are tied at 44 percent each. All results are within the polls’ 2.8 percent margins of error.
The NBC/Marist polls track closely with other polls, which show a tight race between Obama and his Republican challenger. The RealClearPolitics national poll average currently shows Obama with a 2-point lead over Romney. RealClearPolitics shows Obama currently leading in states with 237 electoral votes, while Romney leads in states with 170 electoral votes.
Same-Sex Marriage Issue Mostly Moot; Romney Leads on Economy
The decision by Barack Obama to endorse legalizing same-sex marriage ultimately was met with shrugs by the voters in Colorado, Iowa and Nevada. 46 percent of Coloradans, 42 percent of Iowans, and 47 percent of Nevadans said Obama’s decision would not affect their vote at all. In Iowa, 22 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for Obama, while 34 percent said they would be more likely to vote against Obama, based on same-sex marriage; in Colorado and Nevada, the percentages were roughly even.
Romney held a slight edge with voters on which candidate would do best at handling the economy, while Obama led on foreign policy and social issues. Voters did show some understanding of Obama’s predicament coming into his term, with majorities in all states saying that economic woes were more a result of problems Obama had inherited than Obama’s policies.
Turnout Looms Large
The 2012 race at present shows parallels with the 2004 race, when then-President George W. Bush faced a strong challenge from Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. In that race, election day turnout was ultimately decisive, with Bush eking out a narrow win.
An analysis by William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution suggests that minority turnout, and especially Hispanic turnout, could be decisive in the November election. Frey suggests that if turnout is similar to 2008, with minorities and young voters flooding the polls, Obama could win a decisive, landslide electoral victory. But if turnout is similar to 2004, with older white voters heading to the polls while younger, non-white voters stay home, Romney would win.
The winner of the 2012 election will likely be the candidate whose base comes out to the polls. For Obama to win, that means women, minority voters and younger voters will need to turn out if he hopes to win a second term.
Photo Credit: Lazlo Thoth
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