President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are dead even in a new Pew Research centre poll, a 4-point swing from the centre’s poll last month that had Romney with a comfortable lead.The poll, however, still displays some significant national advantages for Romney in terms of party enthusiasm and trust on key issues.
Here are the key points:
- Romney and Republicans are winning the enthusiasm battle more than ever before, and it comes at the most crucial point in the race. In the poll, 76 per cent of self-identified Republicans were measured as “likely voters” by Pew, compared with just 62 per cent of Democrats.
- Romney has several strengths on key issues, but most notable is on improving the economy and unemployment. He outpaces Obama by 8 points on which candidate would do better on “improving the job situation.” That number has swung 9 points in Romney’s favour since mid-September.
- Romney also has a huge, 14-point advantage on the question of which candidate would best handle the federal budget deficit.
- He wins by 8 points among Independent voters, continuing a trend of late in recent polls.
Some of Obama’s strenghts are also pronounced, but the economy and deficit are constantly prioritised as two of the top three issues in the campaign. His biggest advantage is on “connecting with ordinary Americans” — he leads by 28 points on that issue. He also leads by 5 points on handling Medicare, and by 8 points on foreign policy.
Also, Obama scores much higher on measures of bipartisanship and consistency, which comes as Romney has sought to reinvent himself as moderate in the final stages of the campaign. Obama leads Romney by 15 points on the question of which candidate is more consistent with his positions. He outpaces Romney by 6 points on being “honest and truthful” and on being willing to work with leaders from the other party.
Here’s a full breakdown of the demographics supporting Obama and Romney:
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