President Obama's senior political advisers are discounting a new Bloomberg poll indicating that Obama holds a 53 to 40 percent lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"We're not 13 points ahead," a top Obama strategist told U.S. News during an interview at the president's campaign headquarters in Chicago. He said the Bloomberg poll showed such a wide lead partly because the survey over-sampled minority voters, such as African Americans and Hispanics, and younger voters, all of whom give Obama very strong support.
He said the race has been "close and stable" for many weeks, and will remain that way.
The adviser added that the fall campaign will be defined in part by how each side shapes perceptions of the other, and by a series of expected debates between Obama and Romney. But he said unforeseen events will probably play a big role, as did the meltdown of the financial industry in September 2008 at the end of the last campaign. At that time, Obama persuaded voters that he would handle the meltdown better than Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Democratic strategists said, and this helped him win the presidency.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.