Three polls released by Gallup this week show possible problems for President Barack Obama heading into the November general elections. Diminished voter enthusiasm among Democrats, high scores for Mitt Romney on economic policy and a drop in favorability among business owners could all effect the president's possibility for re-election.
The most recent poll, released Thursday, shows the president's disapproval rating among business owners is the highest among any other occupational field studied, at 59 percent. Transportation worker (55 percent) and farming, fishing and forestry workers (57 percent) come in a close second and third.
"If business owners become more positive about Obama and his plans for the economy, that could potentially boost his approval ratings and broader U.S. economic confidence closer to the levels necessary for him to be well positioned for re-election," a Gallup press release stated.
"Conversely, further deterioration in his approval rating among business owners could certainly add to the perception that Obama is not doing enough to bolster small businesses in the country," it added, noting the president remains below the historical threshold for re-election.
Likewise, a Tuesday Gallup poll spelled further trouble for President Obama on domestic economic policy. On four specific issues polled - federal budget deficit, economy, creating jobs and taxes - Obama scored up to 19 points below Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
The two were even on health care policy. While Obama fared much better on foreign policy experience (besting Romney 52 to 40 percent), Romney also scored higher on "can get things done" (46 to 41).
Finally, voter enthusiasm among Democrats is markedly lower than in the 2004 and 2008 election cycles, which could translate into lower turnout numbers for the president in November.
"Republicans' greater enthusiasm about voting is a troubling sign for the Obama campaign," a Gallup poll from Wednesday stated.
"However, Democrats' depressed enthusiasm may be influenced by the comparatively tough re-election battle the president is facing...So it may be that Democrats will still vote in large numbers but are just not as excited about doing so."
Democrats may also not be following the election as closely as they were in 2008 when Obama faced a tough primary battle against now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, making the president's role as an incumbent another indicator of low enthusiasm.
However, the silver lining for the president comes in the Tuesday poll, which scored the president much higher than Romney on likability (60 to 30), "understands the problems of average Americans" (50 to 39) and honestly/trustworthiness (47 to 39).
Gallup polls from past elections have shown late-term voters and undecideds often chose the more likable candidate at the 11th hour.
"Americans do not view Romney personally in as favorable a light as they view Obama," the Tuesday poll said.
"While that may not seem as important a consideration for voters as their perceptions of the candidates' competence or their agreement with the candidates' issue positions, the better-liked candidate on the eve of the election has won each of the last five elections."
by RTT Staff Writer
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