Obama ‘ahead’ of Romney among early voters: Poll

Obama ‘ahead’ of Romney among early voters: Poll

Obama ‘ahead’ of Romney among early voters: Poll

President Barack Obama smiles as he greets onlookers upon arriving Virginia, The Obama campaign says it is leading among early voters in Iowa and Ohio.REUTERS photo

With the Nov. 6 election just three weeks away, U.S. President Barack Obama leads Republican candidate Mitt Romney by 59 percent to 31 percent among early voters, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled in recent weeks.

The sample size of early voters is relatively small, but the Democrat’s margin is still well above the poll’s credibility interval of 10 percentage points.

Some 7 percent of those surveyed said they had already voted either in person or by mail.
The online poll is another sign that early voting is likely to play a bigger role this year than in 2008, when roughly one in three voters cast a ballot before Election Day.

Supporters called on to vote earlier

Voting is already under way in some form in at least 40 states. Both the Obama and Romney teams are urging supporters to vote as soon as possible so that their campaigns can focus their door-knocking and phone-calling operations on those who are still undecided or need more prodding to get to the polls.

Early voting was a big part of Obama’s victory over Republican John McCain in 2008, and his campaign aims to repeat its success this year.

The Obama campaign says it is leading among early voters in Iowa and Ohio, and trailing by a smaller margin than 2008 in several other swing states.

The Romney campaign says it is leading or even with Obama among early voters in several closely fought battleground states, including Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire. The campaign says it has seen a spike in volunteering and voter enthusiasm among Republicans since Romney’s strong debate performance against Obama on Oct. 3.

Among the 6,704 people who were asked whether they had voted yet, 361 people replied that they had already cast their ballots.

Meanwhile, Washington has urged Tunisia to bring the attackers of its embassy in Tunis last month to trial and pledged to continue support for the democratic transition in Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring.

“I call upon the Tunisian government to conduct its investigation and bring the perpetrators and instigators of this attack to justice,” U.S. Ambassador Jacob Walles said in a letter to Tunisians, marking a month after the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. Salafists attacked the embassy last month to protest a film made in California deemed offensive to Islam. At least four people were killed when they stormed the embassy.

Obama vowed last month to tighten security at diplomatic missions around the world after the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and attacks on embassies in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt.