In a dozen key swing states across the country, President Barack Obama is trailing Mitt Romney by 5 percentage points and Newt Gingrich by 3 percentage points, according to a new Gallup/USA Today poll on Tuesday.
The survey, which included Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, found that Obama is running behind the former Massachusetts governor, 43-48 percent, while he is losing to the former House speaker, 45-48 percent.
The results from the dozen swing states are worse for Obama than his performance nationwide, where he leads Gingrich by 6 percentage points and Romney by a single point, the poll says.
Meanwhile, the survey also showed the number of Democrats declined in the swing states while the number of Republicans rose since 2008, painting a drastically different electoral landscape for the president’s 2012 reelection efforts. In the dozen key states, the number of self-identified Democrats in these key states fell from 35 percent to 30 percent since 2008.
During the same period, the number of Republicans rose 5 percentage points, while the number of independents increased by a whopping 7 points — from 35 percent in 2008 to 42 percent. In the 12 swing states, 44 percent of those surveyed are conservatives and 21 percent are liberal.
“In 2008, when Obama carried the swing states by 8 percentage points, Democrats there swamped Republicans in party identification by 11 points. Now, that partisan edge has tightened to a statistically insignificant 2 points,” the analysis of the poll says.
Obama’s other challenge as he tries to secure another four years at the White House is the decline in enthusiasm among Democrats heading into an election year.
According to the poll, 61 percent of Republicans are extremely or very enthusiastic about the presidential election, compared to just 47 percent of Democrats who feel the same way. GOPers are also paying more attention than Democrats to next year’s elections, with 69 percent of Republicans saying they are keeping a close eye on the race compared to 48 percent of Democrats who said the same.
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