President Barack Obama has a 7-point cushion over Mitt Romney, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center released Thursday.
Fifty percent of registered voters nationwide prefer Obama, compared with 43 percent who plan to vote for Romney. The president has held a lead over Romney in every Pew poll this year. It’s also the second consecutive Pew survey that shows Obama polling at 50 percent. In Pew’s June survey, Obama edged the presumptive Republican nominee, 50 percent to 46 percent.
Pew also found that Romney has lost ground on the issue that has been central to his campaign: the economy. In June, 49 percent of voters said Romney was the best candidate to improve the nation’s beleaguered economy, compared with 41 percent who gave the nod to Obama.
Thursday’s poll shows a flip over the last month, with 48 percent of voters now saying Obama is the best candidate to turn the economy around, compared with 42 percent who named Romney. That’s emerging as a problematic trend for the former Massachusetts governor, who has been unable to seize a clear advantage over Obama despite the country’s ongoing economic woes.
Pew also finds that Romney hasn’t gained traction in most other areas:
Of 12 issues tested, Romney is seen as stronger than Obama on only one - reducing the federal budget deficit - while Obama has the edge on eight. By two-to-one (60%-30%) Obama is seen as the candidate who would better deal with the problems of poor people. By a 50% to 36% margin, more voters say Obama better reflects their view on social issues like abortion and gay rights. Obama also holds 12-point leads as the candidate better able to defend against terrorist attacks and deal with the nation’s energy problems.
The PollTracker Average currently shows the two candidates running neck-and-neck on the question of who would be a better steward of the national economy.
Pew conducted its poll June 28-July 9 using live telephone interviews. The poll has a sample size of 2,373 registered voters and a margin of error of 2.3 percent.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.