Romney closes in on Obama in new polls

With the general election now officially under way, two new surveys show Republican Mitt Romney has closed in on President Obama, setting up a fierce fight for the White House.

In a Gallup/ USA Today poll of 12 swing states, Mr. Obama edges out Romney 47 percent to 45 percent — that’s within the poll’s four-point margin of error and closer than Gallup’s last swing state poll from March, when Mr. Obama held a nine-point lead.

On the critical issue of the economy, Romney has the advantage: In a direct comparison, 47 percent said Romney would do a better job managing the economy, while 44 percent said Mr. Obama would. As many as 60 percent said Romney would do a good job or very good job as president handling the economy over the next four years, while 52 percent said the same about Mr. Obama.

When it comes to who is more likeable, Mr. Obama beats Romney by a solid 27 points. USA Today points out that the candidate viewed as more likeable has won every presidential election since 1980. By a margin of 10 points, voters say Mr. Obama is more likely to care about the needs of people like themselves.

The states surveyed by Gallup and USA Today included: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico,North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

A separate poll released Monday by Politico and George Washington University gives Romney a slight edge among likely voters, with 48 percent to Mr. Obama’s 47 percent.

As in the Gallup poll, Romney has erased the lead Mr. Obama previously held — in Politico’s February poll, the president led by nine points.

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