In sharp contrast to last week's poll by Pew Research, today's CBS/NYTimes poll shows the race to be a close tie with the economy dragging Obama's numbers down. While some of us were rejoicing at the news of "moderate growth" over the past couple of days -- "moderate" signalling a certain steadiness, not erratic ups and downs -- many appear to be worried.
The new poll shows that the race remains essentially tied, notwithstanding all of the Washington chatter suggesting that Mr. Romney’s campaign has seemed off-kilter amid attacks on his tenure at Bain Capital and his unwillingness to release more of his tax returns. Forty-five percent say they would vote for Mr. Romney if the election were held now and 43 percent say they would vote for Mr. Obama.
When undecided voters who lean toward a particular candidate are included, Mr. Romney has 47 percent to Mr. Obama’s 46 percent. ...NYT
The Times sees "hopeful glimmers" for Obama with some optimism about the economy. And there is greater enthusiasm for Obama than for Romney. Most agree with Obama about the Bush tax cuts remaining in place for those whose incomes are lower than $250,000.
The poll includes a drop in Mr. Obama’s favorability ratings, with 36 percent saying they viewed him favorably and 48 percent saying they did not. In April, 42 percent expressed a favorable opinion of him and 45 percent an unfavorable one.
But that change may have been affected by a reordering of this particular set of questions, which at this point in general election cycles are typically placed near the top of the survey. During the primary season, the questions about favorability were placed lower on the survey after queries about presidential job approval and other topics.
As the focus of the campaign trail shifts to speculation over Mr. Romney’s choice of a running mate, only a quarter of voters say that choice matters a lot to their decision for November. Far more important, those surveyed said, are issues like the economy and jobs, health care, taxes, the deficit and national security — most of them areas in which Mr. Romney is roughly tied or has an advantage in the poll.
Voters gave Mr. Obama an advantage when it came to foreign policy and social issues. ...NYT
Romney's ahead in questions on unemployment and the economy.
NPR's polls, just announced, show Obama ahead overall by 2 points except in "battleground" states where the candidates are dead even.
Fareed Zakaria, writing in the Washington Post, sees a flaw in Obama's campaign.
In 2001, the World Economic Forum ranked U.S. infrastructure second in the world. In its latest report we were 24th. The United States spends only 2.4 percent of GDP on infrastructure, the Congressional Budget Office noted in 2010. Europe spends 5 percent; China, 9 percent. In the 1970s, America led the world in the number of college graduates; as of 2009, we were 14th among the countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Annual growth for research and development spending — private and public — was 5.8 percent between 1996 and 2007; in South Korea it was 9.6 percent; in Singapore, 14.5 percent; in China, 21.9 percent.
In other words, the great shift in the U.S. economy over the past 30 years has not been an increase in taxes and regulations but, rather, a decline in investment in human and physical capital. President Obama has real facts and a strong case — which makes it all the more depressing that his campaign has focused on half-truths and weak arguments. ...WaPo