A bumpy overseas trip and a month of pummeling by Democratic ads depicting Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat and possible tax evader appear to have taken a toll.
Three polls released in the last few days — before Romney announced a running mate — show President Barack Obama widening his lead over the former Massachusetts governor to as much as nine points. The surveys of registered voters, all conducted sometime between Aug. 2 and 8, also have Romney’s unfavorable ratings headed north. Two of the polls show his support among independents slipping.
A Fox News poll found the largest deficit, with Romney trailing by nine points (49 percent to 40 percent) That’s the widest gap Fox has reported all year. Its July survey had Obama up by four points (45 percent to 41 percent). Fox found that Obama’s increasing advantage comes mainly on the strength of a big bump from independents, who now support the president by 11 points, up from four points in July.
Twenty-six percent of voters described themselves as “extremely" or “very" comfortable with the prospect of a Romney presidency, while 71 percent said they were either “somewhat" or “not at all" comfortable. Forty-one percent were extremely or very comfortable with a second Obama term, while 59 percent fell into the somewhat or not-at-all categories.
A new CNN/ORC International survey placed the race at seven points (52 percent to 45 percent), up from 49 percent to 46 percent in July. Among independents, Obama’s lead is at nine points. Fifty-two percent of independents view Romney unfavorably, up from 40 percent in May.