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Obama Improves On Economy, Dominates On Personal Likeability In New Polls


A slew of new polls released after the Democratic National Convention last week show President Barack Obama received a modest bump across most issue areas. Specifically, while the president continued to dominate over Republican candidate Mitt Romney on personal likability questions, voters' trust of his economic policies also improved.

Among registered voters, Obama now leads Romney by 50 to 44 percent, a new poll released Tuesday by ABC/Washington Post showed. The poll results reflect a turnaround from a late August poll in which Romney led 47-46.

The lead is the largest the president can claim since April, when he led Romney by 51 to 44 percent. He also continued to lead Romney in voter enthusiasm, although both men have high numbers at 93 and 87 percent respectively.

But it is Obama's newest polling numbers on issue sets and in swing states that show a substantial bump for the president post-Charlotte.

On the economy, consistently the top issue for voters this election season, the president now leads the former Massachusetts governor by a small margin - 47-45 percent. Although this lead is not large, it is a significant change from late August, when the tables were turned with Romney leading 50-43 over the president.

Obama leads on every other issue - health care, social issues, terrorism, foreign policy, Medicare, women's interests and middle class interests - other than deficit planning. On this issue, Romney continues to lead Obama 47-44 percent.

Another surprising issue on which the president has gained a lead is his handling of tax policy. Since July, the two men have either been tied or Romney has lead on this issue. Now, the president leads by a wide margin of 50-43 percent.

The president's overall and comparative favorability rates were contradictory, according to two separate ABC/WaPo polls. The first, taken between Sept. 7-9, showed the president lost one point in overall job favorability, dropping from 50 to 49 percent.

Meanwhile, the second, taken over a longer period of time between Sept. 5-9, showed the president gained ground on favorability versus Romney, increasing from 47 to 52 percent since September 2. Romney also increased one point from 48 to 49 percent favorable.

As far as swing states go, the president saw a hefty bump in Ohio but remained largely flush with Romney in the convention-hosting state of North Carolina, according to Public Policy Polling data released this week.

In the former, Obama now leads Romney 50-45 percent, the widest margin since May. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the two men continue to remain nearly equal, at 49-48 in favor of the president.

"North Carolina's been a swing state from the start and it looks like it will be a swing state to the end," President of Public Policy Polling Dean Debnam said in a press release.

"Neither candidate can break away here," he added. This does seem to be the case as in 24 of the last 25 polls done in the state, the two men have remained within three points of one another.

Both candidates have their problems going into the last months before the general election. Obama, with a low general favorability rating, would be the first president to be elected with an approval rate below 50 percent since Reagan.

However, anxiety among voters about the lack of detail behind Romney's policies - 63 percent said they want more information compared to 46 percent for Obama - could prove to be a larger-scale problem going into November unless he turn this around during the presidential debates.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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