At this stage in the campaign, Barack Obama is in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates. With an eight-point lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters, Obama holds a bigger September lead than the last three candidates who went on to win in November, including Obama four years ago. In elections since 1988, only Bill Clinton, in 1992 and 1996, entered the fall with a larger advantage.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 12-16 among 2,424 registered voters, including 2,192 likely voters, finds that Obama has a 51% to 42% lead over Romney among registered voters. Among likely voters, Obama leads 51% to 43%.