On the eve of their first presidential debate, President Obama leads or is at parity with Mitt Romney on virtually every major issue and attribute in what remains a competitive general election, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The new survey also highlights an emerging dynamic: the disparity between the state of the race nationally and in battleground states, where campaigning and advertising by the two candidates have been most intense and where the election will be decided.
Nationally, the race is unmoved from early September, with 49 percent of likely voters saying they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and 47 percent saying they would vote for Romney. Among all registered voters, Obama is up by a slim five percentage points, nearly identical to his margin in a poll two weeks ago.
But 52 percent of likely voters across swing states side with Obama and 41 percent with Romney in the new national poll, paralleling Obama’s advantages in recent Washington Post polls in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.Politico reports:
The presidential race is tight enough nationally that a strong performance in Wednesday’s debate by Mitt Romney could put him in the lead.
A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows President Barack Obama ahead 49 percent to 47 percent, a point closer than a week ago and still within the margin of error.
Romney now leads by 4 points among independents, up slightly from a week ago. The Republican must overperform with that group to make up for the near monolithic support of African-Americans for Obama, as well as the huge Democratic advantage among Latinos and women.
The head-to-head numbers mostly held steady through the past two weeks.
“The basic underpinnings of this race are just not changing, and that’s what’s going to keep this a very close race,” said Republican pollster Ed Goeas of the Tarrance Group, who helped conduct the bipartisan poll.
A solid 46 percent say they will vote to reelect Obama and 42 percent say firmly they’ll vote to replace him. Just 9 percent say they’ll consider someone else.