According to a new RealClearPolitics map of the Electoral College, President Barack Obama has lost 64 essential electoral votes within the last 12 days. Released on October 11, the map shows that Obama still leads challenger Mitt Romney 201 to 181, with 156 Electoral College votes in contention. The map thus moves five states from a status of leaning towards Obama to a “toss-up” status. The changes came following the fateful and first presidential debate that saw a surge in support for the GOP candidate. The five states of the union that moved to the “toss-up” category are Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio. The other seven of the dozen “toss-up” states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, and North Carolina.
CBS reported on October 10 that incumbent Obama had lost eight percentage points in California, even while he still manages to lead in the Golden State by a 53-39% margin, which is 10 points less than when he won the state by 24 points when first elected. California KPIX TV broadcasting station tracked Obama one month ago as leading Romney by 22 points. Obama was a dud among independents in the study, which showed Obama losing 23 points and now down by 9. In September, Obama was leading among independents, according to KPIX, by 14 points. 
An IBD/TIPP poll, conducted after last week’s presidential debate, showed that Romney had gained a lead among independent voters that had grown from 18 points on September 9 to 20 overnight. Released on October 10, the poll showed that Romney’s edge had grown by three points, for a total of five over Obama. Romney, who Democrats have claimed is out of touch with Middle America because of his wealth, nonetheless gained four points with middle-class voters and now leads Obama among them by  10 points. Obama, despite his support for abortion, has seen women shrink from him from 10 to eight points.
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press  has released a poll conducted October 4-7, among 1,511 adults — 1,201 of them registered voters — that found that 51% of respondents had an unfavorable impression of Vice President Joe Biden and 40% had an unfavorable view of his challenger, Congressman Paul Ryan. This comes just before the October 12 debate between the vice-presidential contenders in Ohio. In September 2008, Biden’s unfavorable rating was only 31% just before he took on GOP challenger Sarah Palin. According to Pew, 42% of independent voters expect Republican Ryan to perform better than Biden, with only 25% believing that the vice president would win the debate.  Pew also noted that 54% of voters are likely to watch the debate.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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