Obama Favored to Beat Romney, Despite Even Split in Support

May 15, 2012 5:50pm

A majority of Americans surveyed said Obama would win re-election in November, according to a new Gallup poll released today.

The polling numbers — 56 percent for Obama, 36 percent for Romney — suggest that Democrats have more faith in their candidate than Republicans have in theirs. Among Democrats,  81 percent  believe that Obama will win the election, while 68 percent of Republicans believe Romney will prevail.

More independents, 58 percent, chose Obama as the likely victor too, while 31 percent went for Romney.

How Obama comes out the favorite remains a conumdrum. A majority of polls  so far has shown an even divide in support for the two candidates. The most recent Gallup tracking has Obama at 46 percent, and Romney at 45 percent- a statistical tie given the margin of error of +/- 2 percent.

History has proved more kind to incumbents than to challengers in presidential races. It’s been 20 years, when Bill Clinton defeated President George H.W. Bush in 1992, since a sitting president was voted out of office after one term.

Past Gallup polls have also given better odds to  incumbents. In 2004, more Americans believed George W. Bush would win over John Kerry. In 1996, Gallup polling indicated that voters believed Clinton would defeat  Bob Dole.

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