Obama's odds are nowhere close to 50-50

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May 15, 2012

Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart's partisan assessment that President Barack Obama's reelection chances are "no better than" 50-50 appears excessively optimistic ("2012 election a 50-50 proposition for Obama, top pollster says," May 11).

The latest report from Scott Rasmussen, who indisputably is the nation's actual top pollster, has it 50-42, with Mitt Romney over Mr. Obama.

Unlike most of his counterparts, Mr. Rasmussen polls only the most committed — or "likely" — voters.

Mr. Hart based his assessment in part on subjective factors such as focus-group discussions and his personal conversations with "professional pols."

Despite his less scientific methodology, Mr. Hart was forced to conclude that voter "enthusiasm and commitment" favor Mr. Romney, that Mr. Obama's 2008 supporters "seem so much less engaged and enthusiastic" this year, and that Mr. Romney leads with respect to the all-important issue of improving the economy.

Barry C. Steel, Phoenix

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