Obama, Romney haven't changed many minds in poll - San Francisco Chronicle
A pair of tepid jobs reports, landmark Supreme Court decisions on health care and immigration laws, and an unprecedented barrage of negative ads have shaped the opening months of the fall presidential campaign.
The impact on the horse race: virtually none. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a deadlocked contest, tied at 47 percent among registered voters and basically where they stood in late May.
The new numbers reflect a stubborn constancy - only twice in 13 surveys over more than a year has either candidate held a lead exceeding the poll's margin of error. The campaign appears destined to be extremely close in the four months before election day.
About two-thirds of Americans consider the country seriously off course, a majority have not approved of Obama's overall job performance in more than a year, and the president remains in negative territory on dealing with the economy, health care and immigration.
Also unmoved since fall are Americans' attitudes toward spending, with as many saying they would prefer an increase in federal spending to try to spur economic growth as wanting to prioritize deficit reduction.
The lack of movement underscores intense polarization - about 9 in 10 Republicans back Romney, and a similar proportion of Democrats support Obama - and a relatively small percentage of voters say there is a "good chance" that they could change their minds before November.
At this point, 74 percent of all voters are "definitely" supporting Obama or Romney, and 12 percent say it is unlikely that they will switch from one to the other, making the race a settled issue for nearly 9 in 10 voters.
Obama benefits from a clear, but dwindling, enthusiasm gap. Just over half, 51 percent, of his supporters back his candidacy "very enthusiastically," compared with 38 percent of Romney's.
There is also a difference in motivation, with 75 percent of Obama supporters saying their vote is "for" him, in contrast with 59 percent of Romney's backers saying their vote is "against" Obama.