Obama leads Romney 48%-44% in the poll, marking the sixth consecutive day in which the poll has showed him with a small, but statistically meaningful lead. The shift comes after almost two months in which the two candidates were essentially tied in the poll’s results.
The uptick for Obama started before the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding most parts of Obama’s healthcare ruling. The ruling, itself, does not appear to have had an impact on the shape of the race. Democratic strategists believe that the Obama campaign’s repeated attacks on Romney’s business record, particularly the involvement of his company, Bain Capital, in “offshoring” of jobs, has begun to connect with voters.
The results are particularly notable because many polling analysts believe that Gallup’s methods for analyzing its nightly surveys slightly under-represents the number of minority voters and, therefore,understates Obama’s support by a couple of points.
Several recent state-by-state polls also have showed results consistent with a small increase in Obama’s support.
Whether the uptick can be sustained remains to be seen. Recent economic indicators have continued to reflect trouble in the economy, and Obama remains weak among white voters, so he will continue to remain vulnerable. One hopeful historical parallel for the Democrats – in 2004, then-PresidentGeorge W. Bush took a small lead over Democratic Sen. John Kerry at just about this point in the summer. Bush, of course, went on to win reelection. Obama’s level of job approval in Gallup’s surveys stands at exactly the level that Bush garnered at this point in 2004.