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President Barack Obama got a sizable bump coming out of the Democratic National Convention last week, according to several major polls released over the weekend.
A weekend Gallup poll shows Obama pulling ahead of GOP contender Mitt Romney by four percentage points.
For weeks, most polls have shown Obama and Romney in a dead heat. His job approval number now stands at 52 percent, a nine-point jump since late August.
This despite what many considered a middling convention speech — overshadowed by former President Bill Clinton’s stunner — and a bad jobs number report released on Friday. Obama has now transformed a two-point deficit into a four-point advantage.
Pre-convention, Obama’s approval-to-disapproval rating stood at 45 percent to 48 percent. It has now swung 13 points during and in the aftermath of the convention. The last time Obama was at 52 percent was during the three-day period of May 23-25, 2011.
Obama’s approval rating also jumped to the same 52 percent mark in Scott Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll, while 47 percent disapprove. That compares to a 48-52 approval-to-disapproval split the day the convention started.
Obama also remained ahead of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney in a Reuters/Ipsos released on Sunday, maintaining a boost in popularity that followed the Democratic National Convention.
Of the 1,419 likely voters polled online over the previous four days, 47 percent said they would vote for Obama and 43 percent for Romney if the Nov. 6 election were held today.
The president’s margin over Romney in the daily rolling poll was unchanged from Saturday’s numbers, turning up the heat on Republican strategists who were hoping for a more muted post-convention “bounce” for Obama in the wake of Friday’s release of weak employment numbers.
“It means (Democrats) are on good footing going into the rest of the election,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.
Obama’s lead already was more sustained than a smaller and shorter-lived boost that Romney enjoyed after the Republican convention finished in Tampa, Fla, on Aug. 30, Clark said. The Democratic convention ran through Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C.
“The task is now to stay on the message as we’re still quite a ways away from the election,” Clark said, reiterating her prediction that the gap in poll numbers between Obama and Romney is likely to narrow and stay close up all the way up to Nov. 6.
Asked which of the two “will protect American jobs,” 42 percent of 1,660 registered voters picked Obama while 35 percent sided with Romney.
Obama’s ranking in that category has climbed steadily over the past two weeks of the daily poll, starting with 34 percent on Aug. 28, reaching 36 percent on Sept. 6 and peaking Sunday.
“The public view of the economy is much more about personal perception than reality,” Clark said, explaining that few people pay close attention to numbers or statistics. “The fact that the dialogue is in the public sphere and Obama has been defending his record, it’s possible a little bit of that is sticking.”
At the same time, 72 percent of registered voters surveyed said the national economy and national deficit were on the wrong track, while 66 percent said the same about jobs and unemployment and 57 percent about the direction of things in the country in general, according to Sunday’s poll numbers.
Asked how they felt toward Obama, 54 percent of registered voters were favorable. Romney’s favorability trailed at 49 percent.
Sunday’s findings wrap up a series of daily rolling polls aimed at gauging sentiment during the two weeks of party conventions. For the survey, a sample of registered voters was interviewed online from Sept. 5-9.
The precision of Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for all respondents.
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