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Obama Builds Real Lead in Presidential Contest

Obama Builds Real Lead in Presidential Contest
Report on post-convention survey

President Obama emerged from his convention with the biggest lead of the year in our polling—and at 50 percent in the race. According to the latest national survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps, the President holds a 5-point lead on the ballot, up a net 3 points since just before the Republican convention. With the Romney campaign reeling on issues unrelated to the economy, the President enters the fall campaign in a much stronger position to sustain a lead, bolstered by the dynamics of the race. He has made gains among key groups in the progressive base, including unmarried women and young people and with key swing groups—climbing above 40 percent among white voters and making gains with white non-college-educated voters.

If the two conventions set out to reach women, the President won hands down here, making major gains with both college-educated and non-college-educated women. Obama is ahead with white women, 50 to 46 percent—an 18-point net gain since August.

And if the two conventions battled over Medicare and seniors, the President ended up with a 6-point advantage on who voters trust more on Medicare (with an 11-point advantage on intensity) and significant vote gains among seniors.

Key Findings:

Obama leads by 5 points on the ballot, 50 to 45 percent against Mitt Romney. All of the President’s gains came with what we have called the Rising American Electorate—young people, minorities, and unmarried women—the new broad base for progressives. This was a base convention for Democrats whose base forms nearly half of the electorate. Obama is now winning 68 percent of unmarried women – matching his 2008 level with this group.

Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, is not helping the ticket. His personal rating has not improved in the three weeks since the Republican convention – stuck in slightly negative territory.

The engagement gap. Nearly an equal number of Democrats and Republicans now say they are following the election very closely. But minorities, unmarried women, and particularly women, trail the electorate overall on this key measure.

Both candidates improved their personal images in the conventions, but Mitt Romney remains in negative territory—and he is running out of opportunities to change voters’ gut feelings about him. In our monthly tracking dating back to January 2011, Mitt Romney has yet to receive a net positive personal rating.

Obama makes gains, but the weak economy still helps Romney. Obama has narrowed Romney’s advantage on the economy to a 2-point deficit, but that still creates downward pressure in the race. There is no improvement in the country’s economic mood, even if there is greater confidence in its leadership.

Read the full analysis at Democracy Corps.

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About Greenberg Quinlan Rosner
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is the world's premium research and strategic consulting firm, working with corporations, issue groups, and political campaigns throughout the United States and around the world. Find out more about us, along with the latest research and commentary from our principals and analysts, at

About Democracy Corps
Democracy Corps is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to making the government of the United States more responsive to the American people. It was founded in 1999 by James Carville and Stanley Greenberg. Democracy Corps provides free public opinion research and strategic advice to those dedicated to a more responsive Congress and Presidency.
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