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OPINION

Why the Obama White House is nervous

President Obama is in for a tight race this November.

While the president still holds a narrow 2.2 point lead over Governor Romney in the Real Clear Politics average, recent polling suggests that the numbers are on the cusp of moving away from the President.

Put simply, President Obama’s vote share is coming down – as evidenced by the findings from the most recent Gallup and Rasmussen surveys in which the President trailed Romney by two points (45%-47%).

Moreover, with poll after poll showing President Obama’s job approval rating down several points below the 50% mark, according to Gallup’s latest poll, President Obama will be hard-pressed to garner either the turnout or the margin he enjoyed in 2008 when he defeated John McCain with 52.8 percent of the vote.

Even the populist rhetoric and politically motivated announcements the Obama campaign has pursued in recent weeks have fallen short in achieving their desired objective: mobilizing key voter groups whose enthusiasm for voting in the election could be critical to Obama's re-election chances particularly in key swing states.

When independent voters were asked whether Obama’s announcement supporting the legalization of gay marriage made them more or less likely to vote for the president in a Gallup/USA Today poll published on May 10, they answered less likely 23% -11% while 63% percent responded that it would make no difference.

Moreover, US satisfaction and economic ratings lows compared with years incumbents won – with voter satisfaction with the direction of the country barely above 30% and the economy remaining a dominant concern, it is clear that while electoral estimates haven't moved yet, they are on the cusp of moving.

Thus, while President Obama may be better positioned at this time than Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were when they lost their re-election bids, his standing is worse than Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, incumbents who won a second term.

Douglas E. Schoen has served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton and is currently working with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has more than 30 years experience as a pollster and political consultant. He is also a Fox News contributor and co-host of "Fox News Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel and Mondays at 10:30 am ET on FoxNews.com Live. He is the author of ten books including,“Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What it Means for 2012 and Beyond” (Rowman and Littlefield 2012). Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.