By Arun Kumar
Washington, Oct 25 (IANS) Amid Republican claims that they are gaining momentum and steaming toward victory, President Barack Obama’s campaign has expressed confidence that its ground game will produce the winning margin in the Nov 6 election.
But while they’re well ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, things are a lot tougher than they were in 2008, Politico, an influential news site focused on politics, reported noting the race is tighter and enthusiasm lower.
If the Obama campaign claims to have made 44 million phone calls, 3.8 million door knocks and one million new voter registrations, Republicans boast of 45 million voter contacts by last Saturday – up from the 24 million Bush-Cheney 2004 benchmark.
As the two candidates continued their push through swing states, a new Time poll in the critical battleground of Ohio showed Obama holding a five point edge over Romney two weeks ahead of Election Day. The Time Magazine poll released Wednesday showed Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 44 percent in the state, within the poll’s three point sampling error.
The number was derived from a survey of people who said they would vote Nov 6, and people who said they’ve already cast their ballot.
Meanwhile, CNN moved North Carolina headed by Indian-American Republican governor Nikki Haley, from toss up to lean Romney and shifted Indiana and Missouri, two states that are currently “lean Romney,” to “safe Romney.”
Four years ago Obama became the first Democrat since 1976 to carry North Carolina in a presidential election. He also became the first Democrat since 1964 to win Indiana, but narrowly lost Missouri to the 2008 Republican candidate John McCain.
With the shift of North Carolina, CNN now estimates that Romney is leading in states with 206 electoral votes. The shift does not affect CNN’s estimate that Obama is leading in states with 237 electoral votes.
One needs 270 of 538 electoral votes to win the White House.
However, in the forecast of FiveThirtyEight, a respected poll watching blog in the New York Times, Obama’s chances of winning the Electoral College were down slightly to 68.1 percent from 70.3 percent Monday.
But it still gave Obama 288.3 electoral votes to Romney’s 249.7.
The revision came as of the 11 national polls published Tuesday, five showed Obama ahead, four gave a lead to Mitt Romney and two had a tied race.
On average among the polls, Romney led by 0.3 percentage points, the same as his average margin in the previous edition of the same polls.
RealClearPolitics, an influential political news aggregating site, also continued to show Romney with a slight 47.8 percent to 47.2 percent advantage over Obama nationally giving the challenger 206 votes in theelectoral college to Obama’s 201 and 131 too close to call.
Politico, another news site focused on politics, too kept unchanged its projection of a 281-257 vote advantage to Obama adding 44 swing states votes to the president and 66 to Romney.