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Obama, Romney tied at 47%

world Updated: Oct 23, 2012 02:10 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney go into their third and final debate Monday night - this one on foreign policy - tied in poll numbers.

Romney is leading Obama on the question of which of the two is best equipped to improve the economy and has caught up with the president as best suited to be the commander-in-chief.

Both were tied at 47% among likely voters in the Wall Street Journal-NBC poll released Monday morning, a significant gain for the challenger.

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Romney has been surging since winning the first debate on October 3. Though the president got the better of him in the second, he was unable to stop him.

But Obama has held his lead over Romney among women voters by eight points and a huge 45 points among Hispanics, who could together put him across the finishing line.

But the WSJ/NBC poll also showed Obama slipping among white voters - he is at 37% currently, compared to 43% in exit polls in 2008.

And the challenge for Romney, the poll showed, was that he trails Obama in battleground states. A loss in Florida or Ohio could cost him the race.

But the good news for him is the surge in his numbers as the commander-in-chief, which should serve him well when he squares up with President Obama in Boca Raton, Florida.

Romney has looked weak in comparison to Obama on foreign policy, which the president's campaign has tried to emphasise in its messaging during the run-up.

Romney "offers nothing but endless bluster and a record of dangerous blunders", said senator John Kerry, in a memo released Monday morning by the Obama campaign.

The Romney campaign hit back. "America stands weakened around the world, with our safety threatened, our allies increasingly isolated, and hostile nations emboldened," said campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul.

Iran and Libya are likely to dominate the debate. Romney is expected to show the president soft on Iran and dithering on Libya.

The president is likely to push back, saying Romney doesn't have a different plan on Iran or Afghanistan - that he has nothing different to offer.

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