Polls show Obama holding narrow national lead over Romney

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In the Tarrance poll, large swaths of respondents said it was important for the government to address spending (77 percent), job creation (86 percent), the debt (79 percent), and healthcare costs (77 percent). Some two-thirds of respondents said they were following the debate over the debt limit "extremely" or "very" closely, with only one in 10 saying they were paying little attention to the government nearing another spending cap.

But that might not be great news for Republicans. According to the PPP poll, nearly half of respondents believe Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy, as part of an effort to prevent President Obama from becoming reelected. Four in 10 respondents said they did not believe the GOP was acting maliciously, while 11 percent said they were not sure.

Still, voters also express skepticism about using federal dollars for additional stimulus. In the Tarrance poll, 53 percent of respondent say the federal government hurts economic growth, and some seven in 10 say the economy is impacted by the size of the federal debt. With two-thirds of respondents saying their personal budget is negatively impacted by the economic turmoil, the president is facing a tough climate for his reelection bid.