In the September American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Political Report, public opinion expert Karlyn Bowman and researchers Andrew Rugg and Jennifer Marsico find that:
- Obama's reelection position weaker: Barack Obama is in a weaker position than most of his predecessors seeking re-election on some important indicators at this point in the campaign. Only 23 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, much lower than 41 percent in September 2004 (George W. Bush) and 41 percent in 1996 (Clinton).
- Do debates matter? According to a Gallup analyst, there are "few instances in which the debates may have had a substantive impact on election outcomes. The two exceptions are 1960 and 2000, both very close elections in which even small changes could have determined who won." It remains to be seen whether the debates have an impact in 2012.
- Biden v. Ryan: Initial reactions to Joe Biden (34%) were more favorable than early reactions to Paul Ryan (25%) in a Gallup poll. According to ABC/Washington Post polls, a substantial majority said that the choice made no difference (67% for Ryan, 66% for Biden).
The report also looks at attitudes on educational attainment, Social Security, abortion, and more. Click here to read the full report.
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