Multiple polls released this week show Americans are split on last Thursday's Supreme Court ruling on health care while President Barack Obama holds a small overall lead over Mitt Romney.
Among registered voters, the president holds a marginal five point lead over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a Gallup poll released Monday, July 2. If the election were held today, Obama would beat Romney 48 to 43 percent.
This lead, which has remained steady for the past three days, is the biggest margin between the two men since April, when the president held a seven point lead over the former Massachusetts governor.
However, a CNN/ORC poll also released Monday shows the president falling dangerously behind in 15 battleground states, 12 of which he won in 2008.
Among poll respondents in the 15 states - Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin - 51 percent favored Romney compared to 43 percent for Obama.
However, among all registered voters, the CNN/ORC poll results were more in line with the Gallup numbers, with 49 percent supporting Obama compared with Romney's 46.
However, the electorate is more split when it comes to last week's Supreme Court ruling on the president's 2010 health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to a new ABC Langer Associates poll released Tuesday, July 3, 43 percent of respondents favored the ruling while 42 percent do not. These numbers are up drastically from a similar ABC poll done last week showing voters split 36-52 on the law.
However, a similar poll carried out by the Pew Research Center recorded a wider margin. The Pew poll, released Monday, showed only 36 percent of respondents were in favor of the Supreme Court ruling while 40 percent disapproved of the decision.
Also surprisingly, despite widespread media coverage 45 percent of the Pew respondents either did not how the judges rules or said they struck down the law as unconstitutional. Among those aware of how the judges ruled, the approval rating rose to 50 percent versus 42 percent disapproved.
The slightly more positive views of the ACA brought on by the Supreme Court ruling may be a reason for the president's slight bump up in the polls, although "that two-point increase is not large enough to qualify as a 'rally event,'" a Gallup statement said.
Even so, the president's unwavering confidence behind the law's constitutionality unquestionably helped him in polls this week, as the ABC poll showed 45 percent of respondents see Obama's health care policies as positive, compared to only 30 percent for Romney.
Although approval ratings for the ACA are still low among Independents, they crucial bloc of voters still favor Obama's policies 38 percent compared to Romney's 26 percent. Moderates are also more pro-Obama.
Looking forward, Gallup sees three key issues dominating polling numbers - the monthly release of employment numbers (next to be announced on July 6), the announcement of running mates by both Obama and Romney and the October presidential debates.
Even though President Obama has been consistently ahead in polling, "the history of the 2012 presidential race so far has been one of essential parity," the Gallup statement said, "suggesting the real possibility that the race will revert back to even in the days ahead."
by RTT Staff Writer
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