Obama likens 2012 election to basketball

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

With polls showing his re-election bid at serious risk, President Obama likened his political situation to a game of basketball, insisting to a group of Democratic supporters that he's a strong closer.

"I was mentioning to some of the basketball players who were here that this is like the second quarter, maybe the third, and we've still got a lot of work to do. But I want everybody to know I'm a fourth-quarter player," Obama said at a private fundraiser in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday night. "So I don't miss my shots in the fourth quarter. "

It's a theme Obama has expressed previously, dating back to his contentious fight against Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. But Obama's political position is far more precarious these days.

The president's approval rating has been stuck near record lows for months, according to Gallup. But a series of new NBC News/Marist polls of Iowa and New Hampshire—two states that are considered prime swing state territory in 2012--are sure to cause more concern for the president and his political advisers.

Just 42 percent of registered voters in Iowa approve of the president's job performance—down nearly 20 points over the last two years. The poll finds him statistically tied with Mitt Romney in the state, 43 percent to Romney's 40 percent.

But Obama's numbers in New Hampshire are far worse. Just 38 percent of registered voters in the state approve of Obama. If the election were held today, Romney would beat Obama in the state, 49 percent to 40 percent.

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