Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge Obama 47%-Romney 47%
As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 24-28 among 1,678 registered voters, including 1,495 likely voters, finds Obama holding a statistically insignificant two-point edge among registered voters: 47% to 45%. This is little different from the 46% to 46% standoff among registered voters observed in early October, in the days following the first debate.
When the sample is narrowed to likely voters, the balance of opinion shifts slightly in Romney’s direction, as it did in early October. This reflects Romney’s turnout advantage over Obama, which could loom larger as Election Day approaches. In both October surveys, more Republicans and Republican leaners than Democrats and Democratic leaners are predicted to be likely voters. In September, the gap was more modest.
Romney’s strengths – and Obama’s weaknesses – continue to be the economy and the budget deficit. More see the former Massachusetts governor as better able to improve the job situation, by a 50% to 42% margin. Half of voters agree that “Obama doesn’t know how to turn the economy around.” And more voters say Romney has new ideas than say that about Obama (46% vs. 41%).
The poll finds that this year’s debates collectively have had a much more positive impact on opinions of Romney than on views of Obama. Twice as many voters say they have a better opinion of Romney as a result of the debates than say that about Obama (36% vs. 18%). (Full story)