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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CBS News Poll Finds Presidential Candidates Essentially Tied


As the Republicans began to gather in Tampa, Fla., for their convention this week, the latest CBS News poll shows the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied.

Mr. Obama is backed by 46 percent of registered voters, and Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, is preferred by 45 percent. Ninety percent of Republicans support Mr. Romney; just about as many Democrats want to see Mr. Obama re-elected. Independents are evenly divided - 40 percent for Mr. Obama and 41 percent for Mr. Romney.

As is often the case, women are more inclined to support the Democratic candidate, preferring Mr. Obama by 10 percentage points. Men are 9 points more likely to back Mr. Romney.

Voters are closely divided in their overall attitudes about the candidates. Mr. Obama is viewed favorably by 41 percent and unfavorably by 44 percent. Twelve percent are undecided.

Simila rly, 31 percent regard Mr. Romney in a positive light, and 36 percent have a negative opinion. But more voters are unable to give an opinion about Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts: 17 percent said they were undecided, and 15 percent said they were too unfamiliar with Mr. Romney to offer any judgment.

Mr. Obama is seen as understanding the voters' needs and problems, but only about a third thinks he has a clear plan for creating jobs. Fewer voters see Mr. Romney as a candidate that empathizes with their troubles, but they are evenly divided on whether he has a strategy for dealing with unemployment.

The nationwide poll was conducted Aug. 22 to 26 using landlines and cellphones with 1,218 adults of whom 1,051 said they are registered to vote. The margin of sampling error for voters is plus or minus 3 percentage points.