Washington: With the race to the White House almost too close to call ahead of Tuesday`s second presidential debate, President Barack Obama`s supporters are hoping he will deliver a "more assertive performance" and gain an edge over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
A CNN Poll of Polls that averages seven non-partisan, live operator, national surveys conducted entirely after the Oct 3 first presidential debate puts Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 48 percent among likely voters.
With several polls attributing Romney`s current favourable ratings, most likely as a result of perceptions of what was generally regarded as his strong performance in the Denver debate, analysts suggest Obama has his work cut out for him - a "stronger, more assertive performance" as his aides put it.
A Pew Research Centre poll released Monday shows voters divided over who will fare better in Tuesday`s debate at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, with 41 percent favouring Obama and 37 percent Mitt Romney, a margin that falls within the sampling error.
The narrow gap represents a sharp difference to a similar Pew poll conducted two weeks ago, before the first presidential debate. At the time, 51 percent expected Obama to fare better, while 29 percent said Romney would walk away as the night`s winner.
The Pew poll also found that independent voters have stronger expectations for Romney than they did two weeks ago. Forty-two percent of independents say Romney will win, while 31 percent think the president will fare better.
Before the first debate, Obama was expected to win among the voting bloc, by a 44 percent to 28 percent margin.
Obama and Romney, it appears are not only matched in poll numbers, but in fund raising too. The challenger and the Republican National Committee together raised $170 million in September, the campaign announced Monday.
Romney for President, Romney Victory and the RNC also said they have a combined $191 million in the bank after their big September haul, according to Politico, an influential news site focused on politics.
About 93 percent of the donations, or $43 million, of the total amount raised was from donors who gave $250 or less, according to the Romney campaign.
Obama and the Democratic National Committee already reported raising a record $181 million in September but didn`t say how much cash they have on hand.