Washington: The race between incumbent Barack Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney is a virtual tie but the US President appears to have an edge over his rival in key swing States, a latest opinion poll said on Monday.
The race nationally is unmoved from early September, with 49 per cent of likely voters saying they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and 47 per cent saying they would vote for Romney, according to a ABC news/Washington Post survey.
"But 52 per cent of likely voters across swing states side with Obama and 41 per cent with Romney in the new national poll, paralleling Obama`s advantages in recent Washington Post polls in Florida, Ohio and Virginia," the daily reported, adding that this gives the US President an advantage over his Republican challenger.
"Registered voters in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, divide by 49-44 per cent between Obama and Romney, with the race a virtual tie, 49-47 per cent, among those most likely to vote," the survey results said.
Registered voters by 2-1 think Barack Obama will win the upcoming presidential debates and go on to prevail in the November election, it said.
But expectations aside, the race remains close, with strengths and vulnerabilities for both candidates in the campaign ahead, it said.
After a challenging period for Romney, registered voters by 63-31 per cent expect Obama to win re-election, his widest advantage in expectations in ABC News/Washington Post polls to date.
A year ago, in sharp contrast, Americans by an 18-point margin thought he would lose, it said.
Following the results of the survey, The Washington Post said Romney enters Wednesday`s presidential debate under acute pressure to turn around a campaign that has lost ground in states ‘particularly Florida and Ohio’ widely seen as critical to his prospects.
According to the daily, a slim majority of voters now see Romney`s wealth as a positive, signifying his achieving the "American Dream".
Fewer are focusing on issues of economic inequality and the gap between rich and poor.
And there has been a big jump in the number of voters who say he has paid his fair share in taxes, The Post reported.