A new Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows that President Obama now has a national lead in his close presidential race with Mitt Romney. He leads 50 percent to 47 percent, with a 50 percent job-approval rating, Politico reports.
Romney, meanwhile, finds himself sliding in the wake of two events — the choice of his running mate and the Republican national convention — that were supposed to buoy his candidacy. His unfavorable rating ticked up from 46 percent to 49 percent over the past seven weeks, as the share viewing him favorably held steady at 46 percent. Personal likability boosts the president, who is viewed favorably by 53 percent.
"The window is narrowing for Romney, and he's in deep, deep trouble," Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who helped conduct the bipartisan poll, said Sunday. "Ultimately, people don't like this guy. If they don't like someone, it's hard to get people to vote for him — particularly to fire someone they do like."
However, when it comes to whether voters "like" President Obama, it depends on whom you're asking — and where they live. NPR reports today that those in rural counties in battleground states still favor Romney. The 600 likely voters surveyed in a nonpartisan poll favored Romney by 14 points, saying that he would do a better job with the economy and rural issues and with sharing their values.
President Obama garnered 40 percent, a seven-point dive from rural battleground voting four years ago.
"Rural areas in this country are very tough for President Obama," says Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a polling firm for Democrats. Greenberg conducted the bipartisan poll and provided analysis.
"Obama's lead is opening up primarily in urban and suburban areas," Greenberg says. "It's all the more reason that Mitt Romney needs rural America because it's the only place where he's really strong."