July 31, 2014

Obama gains slight lead over Romney

There’s very little change in support for either candidate in the presidential race, according to a new Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday. “The presidential race has been remarkably steady for the last three months. In our latest July data (President Barack) Obama leads (Republican Mitt Romney) 51 to 43; that’s a slight improvement from 49 – 43 in June, but it’s exactly where we saw the race in May at 51 – 43.”

Poll Director Charles Franklin cites two main reasons the polling results on the presidential candidates hasn’t changed: Voters aren’t paying much attention just yet, and neither candidate is focusing his campaigning on Wisconsin right now.

Franklin says views of the economy play a role in the presidential election, as does political affiliation. “The economy certainly shapes a voter’s perceptions of the candidates, though their partisanship also shapes their view of the economy. So there’s a little bit of a chicken and an egg problem between those two.”

The Marquette poll shows 22 percent of likely voters think the economy has gotten better over the past year, and they support Obama over Romney by 77 percent to 15 percent. But, among the 33 percent who believe the economy got worse, 72 percent support Romney and 24 percent support Obama. Forty-two percent see no change in the economy, and they support Obama over Romney by 58-37 percent.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:29