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Shift in Independent vote could be a hurdle for Obama: Poll

New York, Thu, 19 Jan 2012 ANI

New York, Jan.19 (ANI): The latest New York Times/CBS News poll suggests that U.S. President Barack Obama could face some hurdles in his bid for re-election due to a shift in Independent vote patterns.


It maybe recalled that Independents formed a critical piece of the electorate that cemented Obama's victory four years ago.


According to the New York Times, as Obama moves toward a full-throated campaign, delivering a State of the Union address next Tuesday and inching closer to directly confronting his Republican challenger, a majority of independent voters have soured on his presidency, disapprove of how he has dealt with the economy and do not have a clear idea of what he hopes to accomplish if re-elected.


The swing voters who will play a pivotal role in determining his political fate are up for grabs, the poll found, with just 31 percent expressing a favorable opinion of Obama.


Two-thirds of independent voters say he has not made real progress fixing the economy.


Obama, mindful of the headwinds facing him, begins his first major television advertising campaign on Thursday in a handful of battleground states. His targets include independent voters, who the poll found also hold deep skepticism of Republicans.


While Republican primary voters say Mitt Romney stands the best chance of defeating Obama, nearly half of independents say they have yet to form an opinion of him, creating a considerable opening for Democrats to try to quickly define him if he becomes the nominee.


With 10 months remaining until Election Day and the lines of argument coming into view, voters are evenly divided in a match-up between Obama and Romney.


A glimmer of hope may be on the horizon for Obama, though, as the economy appears to be generating more jobs.


The poll found that 28 percent of the public says the economy is getting better, which is the biggest sense of optimism found in a Times/CBS News poll since last February.


But Obama, whose job approval rating remains essentially frozen in the 40s, has considerable work to do rebuilding the coalition of voters who sent him to the White House.


Independent voters have concerns about Obama on a variety of measures, including 6 in 10 who say the president does not share their priorities for the country.


The poll found that 38 percent of all voters view him favorably, 45 percent unfavorably, and 17 percent have no opinion.


The speech will be a chance to draw further distinctions with Congress, whose approval rating remains near record lows of 13 percent. (ANI)


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