A new ABC News/Washington Post poll out Tuesday shows President Barack Obama holding a slim advantage over Mitt Romney among likely voters — a slight change from where the race stood before the Republican and Democratic conventions.
The poll, conducted entirely after the Democratic National Convention, shows Obama with a narrow 49-48 percent lead over Romney among likely voters. In the previous ABC/WaPo survey released late last month — and conducted before each party’s convention — Romney held a 2-point edge among likely voters.
While Obama enjoyed a nominal 3-point bump among likely voters after the conventions, he saw a larger 7-point swing among the larger pool of registered voters. The new poll gives him a 50-44 percent lead among registered voters, compared with the last ABC/WaPo in late August that gave Romney a 47-46 percent lead.
The president’s lagging support with likely voters has emerged as a trend over the last month, with many pollsters having shifted away from broader samples as the campaign moves to the final stretch, although he did claim a clear post-convention bounce in a new CNN poll released Monday.
The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama holding a nearly 3-point lead over Romney, 48.6 percent to 45.8 percent.
Beyond Obama’s relative lag among likely voters, there is little in Tuesday’s poll that will provide solace to the Romney campaign. Sixty-three percent of registered voters surveyed say Romney has not done enough to provide details of the policies he would advance in the White House, the latest sign that the Republican nominee’s deliberate vagueness may backfire, while 31 percent say he has done enough. Comparatively, 46 percent say Obama has done enough to provide policy details, while 49 percent say the incumbent has not done enough.
By varying margins, voters identify Obama as the better candidate to handle the economy, health care policy, taxes, Medicare, international affairs, terrorism, small business, women’s issues and the interests of the middle class. The lone issue on which Romney claims an advantage over the president is the federal budget deficit. Moreover, voters say Obama is the stronger leader, more likable and would cooperate better with members of both parties in Congress. By a 10-point margin, voters say Obama better understands the economic problems facing people in the United States.
Langer Research Associates conducted the poll on behalf of ABC News and the Washington Post poll on September 7-9 using live phone interviews with 826 registered voters and 710 likely voters. The margin of error for the registered voter sample is 4 percentage points and 4.5 percentage points for the likely voter sample.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.