If asked to choose between them today, 49% of U.S. registered voters say they would vote for Barack Obama for president, while 45% would choose likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney. While Obama’s advantage is not statistically significant, it is the largest he has had over Romney in Gallup polling to date.
Obama has a larger, significant lead, 51% to 43%, over Rick Santorum, Romney’s chief rival for the Republican nomination, in the March 25-26 USA Today/Gallup poll. In mid-February, when Santorum led as national Republicans’ choice for the nomination, he and Obama were tied.
Obama leads both Romney and Santorum among independent voters, faring slightly better against Santorum than he does against Romney. Romney and Santorum currently fare about equally well among Republican voters.
National polls don’t mean much as I have said over and over because of big urban areas that are predominantly Democratic. Also, registered voters rather than likely voters will skew results as well.
Let’s look at Gallup’s key battleground states poll.
Obama has a 51% to 42% lead over Romney in USA Today/Gallup polling of registered voters in 12 key swing states, conducted March 20-26. This is the first time in five measurements that Obama has held an advantage over Romney in those states.
Obama also leads Santorum in the swing states, by 52% to 41%.
What does this all mean?
Momentum has shifted towards President Obama because Americans perceive the economy getting a bit better. Also, the contraception flap with Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum has sullied the GOP national brand and Romney is receiving the fall out with women voters and independents.
You see, most Americans are not that tuned into what the real issues are and when Jon Stewart and Jay Leno start the mocking, perceptions will shift – especially with this no win issue. But, will they shift in key battleground states?
The key battleground state poll, however, is not an accurate portrayal. There are at this point of the campaign really only six states in play: Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina.