- - Sunday, May 27, 2012

Grade: C

“This brief column is supposed to assess the ‘presidency’ of Barack Obama each week, but since the campaign is on permanent spin cycle, I have to comment on the campaign as well. More than 18 months ago, I asked voters how likely they were to vote for Mr. Obama if the unemployment rate was at various levels. U.S. unemployment then was 9.3 percent and each question moved the level down 0.1 percent. The president would have been trounced at 9 percent, but when it hypothetically reached 8.2 percent, a solid plurality said they were ‘very likely’ to support him. At 8 percent, the level of support reached 54 percent. Today we are at 8.1 percent unemployment and the president is pretty much tied with Mitt Romney — each getting about 45 percent support. Unemployment and the economy are vital in any campaign, but no presidential campaign is ever one dimensional. Why isn’t the president at 54 percent? Voters may not be falling head over heels for Mr. Romney, but there are still questions about Mr. Obama’s leadership. Looks like a big opening for a challenger, but why is Mr. Romney only at 45 percent? Seven swing states (Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada) are still too close.”

Last week’s grade: C

Follow pollster John Zogby on Twitter (@thejohnzogby)

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