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Obama's "forward agenda" hard to garner 2008 support (3)

By Sun Hao (Xinhua)

08:44, September 04, 2012

Although both sides agreed that economy remains a top issue in this year's election campaign, the poll had even worse news for Obama, who continued to get more negative reviews for the handling of the economy. The only good news is that ratings have not dwindled further.

Romney beat Obama by seven points among registered voters on economy, but Obama still won over him in likeability by a double- digit lead, as well as on social issues.

"To put context in, I agree that Obama is running more against the economy than against Romney. Although his likeability is greater than Romney, but the issue of running economy is hurting him significantly," said James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University.

He told Xinhua that while there is very little Obama can do in terms of changing economy immediately, "he needs to assure American people that they need to stay in the course with him and it would have been worse if he had not done what he did with the stimulus package."

Since Romney's policies are still quite vague, Thurber said the strategy of Obama campaign strategy has been "what are you exactly going to do to turn the economy around?"

As for the upcoming Democratic convention, Thurber believed it would basically be advertisement time for the Obama and Vice President Joe Biden ticket.

"I don't expect anything as exciting as in 2008," said Thurber, "2008 was a phenomenal election, and a phenomenal convention with a very moving speech by the president. I guess it's hard for him to get back to that level again."

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