President Barack Obama inched up one point in Monday’s Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll, pulling into a dead heat with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, 49 per cent to 49 per cent. That’s the second consecutive gain for Obama in the daily poll, which had Romney edging out Obama 49-48 per cent when it was last released on Friday. Obama also saw his job approval rating rise to a bare majority among likely voters polled by WaPo/ABC for the first time since July.
Deeper within the poll results, there are additional positive signs for Obama. On the economy, Romney has all but lost the 9-point advantage he gained last week, and the candidates have gone back to being virtually tied on the question of who would better handle the economy.
Obama has also regained his edge on economic empathy, and now leads Romney 50-44 per cent on the question of “which candidate understands the economic problems” of average Americans.
Romney continues to struggle with questions about his commitment to the middle class. A majority of likely voters surveyed — 53 per cent — said they believe Romney would favour the wealthy, compared to just 34 per cent who said he would favour the middle class. In contrast, a full 66 per cent of those surveyed said Obama favours the middle class.
For the most part, however, the results of the national tracking survey show that the dynamics of the race are relatively unchanged from the beginning of the fall campaign. And as in early September, about one-third of likely voters say they are worse off than they were for years ago, with about 20 per cent saying they are better off, and about 50 per cent saying things have stayed the same.
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