The next major event that could shake up the 2012 presidential race is Mitt Romney’s selection of a running mate, a move that could come within weeks before the July 27 start of the Olympic Games in London.
In an analysis of recent polling data that shows the race between Romney and President Barack Obama continues to be close, Gallup
noted that one thing that could move the numbers is Romney’s selection of a vice presidential candidate to join him on the GOP ticket.
“Romney will make his announcement of his vice presidential running mate at some point in July or August — an event that will give him a guaranteed burst of media attention,” Gallup wrote. “Given the two-week-long Summer Olympics that begin July 27, Romney's announcement will almost certainly either be made before July 27, or follow the Olympics in mid- to late August — in the ramp-up to the GOP convention, which begins Aug. 27.”
Another upcoming event in the presidential contest will be the July 6 release of the June unemployment figures.
It's unclear from previous months whether these unemployment reports significantly affect the standing of the two candidates, at least in the short term. Still, Gallup Daily tracking of unemployment on a continuous basis suggests the potential for the report to show a decline in unemployment in June, which would generally be a plus for Obama.
In the most recent Gallup Daily tracking poll, Obama leads Romney 48 percent to 43 percent, his biggest lead since April. Obama’s 47 percent approval rating average for the week of June 25-July 1 puts him exactly where George W. Bush was in a July 8-11, 2004, Gallup survey.
“A number of upcoming events have the potential to affect the standing of the two U.S. presidential candidates between now and the Nov. 6 election — including monthly unemployment reports, Romney's announcement of his vice presidential running mate, the two major-party conventions, and the three scheduled presidential debates in October,” Gallup concluded.
“The race has been close among registered voters so far this election cycle, but President Obama is now showing a slightly more sustained lead in recent days than he has previously. However, the history of the 2012 presidential race so far has been one of essential parity, suggesting the real possibility that the race will revert back to even in the days ahead.”
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