Por encargo de USA Today, Gallup ha hecho una encuesta limitada a los 11 estados más competitivos (Florida, Carolina del Norte, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, y Pennsylvania, todos ganados por Obama en 2008) y los resultados son estos:
In the swing states, three Republicans challengers are all close enough to Obama in head-to-head matchups to signal a race that is essentially tied, whoever wins the nomination. Romney leads Obama by a single percentage point while Republican businessman Herman Cain lags the president by three points and Texas Gov. Rick Perry trails him by five.
The underlying perils for the president are particularly pronounced in these battlegrounds, presumably because they are in parts of the country that have been hit hardest by the nation's economic troubles.
Four of the states have unemployment rates in double digits, well above the national average of 9.1%. Rust Belt states such as Michigan continue to struggle with the exodus of heavy manufacturing industries. Those in the Sun Belt, including Florida and Nevada, have been at the center of the home mortgage boom-and-bust.
Among the findings of the USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States Poll:
• By nearly 4 to 1, those surveyed aren't satisfied with the way things are going in the United States. That could signal trouble for incumbents in general and the president in particular as voters increasingly hold him responsible for the country's economic troubles.
• By 60% to 37%, those in swing states say they and their families aren't better off than they were three years ago — a version of the question Republican challenger Ronald Reagan posed to devastating effect against Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Residents in swing states are more likely than those elsewhere to say their families' lives have taken a negative turn. Americans in other states also are dispirited, but not to the same degree: 44% say they're better off; 54% say they aren't.
• By more than 2 to 1, Republicans in swing states are more likely than Democrats to say they are "extremely enthusiastic" about voting for president next year — an important test of whether supporters will be willing to volunteer their time, contribute money and vote.
The enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats and the intense opposition to Obama among Republicans loom as major challenges for the president.
"The intensity of that job-approval rating … really changes the composition of who actually votes in this election," Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said Wednesday at a breakfast with reporters hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. "The energy behind conservatives, behind the anti-Obama sentiment — that changes the calculus in some of these individual states."