Poll: Obama, Romney in dead heat at 46-46

A new poll shows President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat as Election Day nears.

A Fox News poll released late Wednesday shows Obama and Romney both receiving support from 46 percent of likely voters. The number shows a slight uptick for the president, who trailed Romney 46-45 in the same poll taken earlier in October, after the first of their three presidential debates.

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Independents favored Romney by 7 points, down from his 12-point edge in early October. Among those voters who say they are “extremely” interested in the election, Romney is ahead by 53 to 42.

The GOP nominee also has an enthusiasm edge, with 69 percent of his supporters saying it is important that he win. Fifty-nine percent of Obama’s supporters say the same. Eighty-two percent of Romney supporters say the 2012 election is more important than 2008, with 66 percent of Obama supporters saying this year’s contest is more important.

Romney’s advantage among male voters at 51-42 is countered by the president's edge with women, who back him 50 to 42 percent.

But Obama is buoyed by his strong support from Latino voters. Hispanic voters surveyed in the poll said Obama represented the views of Latinos better, by 73 percent to 19.

On the issues, voters back Obama on foreign policy 51-43 percent, but believe Romney would be better at “improving the economy and creating jobs” by 52-43. 

Forty-six percent said they were satisfied with the direction of the country, with 53 percent unsatisfied.

Both candidates were viewed positively by voters, with Romney posting a 51 percent favorable and 46 unfavorable rating. The president is at 52 percent favorable, with 46 percent viewing him unfavorably.

The Fox poll is just the latest to show a tight race with five days left in the campaign. An ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll Wednesday showed the candidates tied at 49 percent, while a CBS News/New York Times poll put Obama up 1 at 48-47. Conservative polling outlet Rasmussen shows Romney up 2, with 49 percent support to 47.

The Fox News poll was conducted from Oct. 28 to 30 and has a 3-point margin of error. Fox said polling in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy was completed before the storm made landfall.