Poll finds Romney, Obama tied at 48-48

A new national poll finds President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney tied as the campaigns make their final push before election day. 

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll released early Sunday shows the two candidates each receiving 48 percent support from likely voters.

Both candidates are also deadlocked among independent voters, with each receiving 46 percent support. Romney leads by 7 points among men, while Obama posts a 6-point advantage with female voters. 

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Supporters of both candidates say they are enthusiastic for their choice, with 95 percent of Obama voters saying that about their support to 94 percent of Romney backers.

The poll finds Obama’s job approval rating steady at 50 percent, with 48 disapproving.

Romney, who has made the economy, a centerpiece of his attacks holds a 3-point edge on that issue, 49-46. The president though tallies a 6-point edge on which candidate better understands the problems Americans face, 50 percent to 44. 

Both candidates are viewed net favorably by voters, with Obama holding a 54 percent favorability rating and 45 unfavorable to Romney’s 53 favorable, 45 unfavorable.

The new poll which comes after Hurricane Sandy forced both candidates from the campaign trail shows that many voters are likely to weigh the president’s handling of the natural disaster to account. 

Forty-nine percent said Obama’s handling of the hurricane response would be a factor in their vote, with 22 percent tabbing it a major factor and 27 a minor one. Forty-nine percent said it would not factor into their ballot decision. 

Other polls have shown a similarly tight race, with a Rasmussen poll Saturday showing the two candidates also tied at 48 percent support and a Fox News poll released last week showing a 56-56 dead heat. A CBS News/New York Times poll last week, however, gave Obama a slight-edge with a 48-47 lead over Romney. 

The close nature of the race is also underscored by a number of swing-state polls which show many battlegrounds still a toss-up.

A Columbus Dispatch Ohio poll released Sunday showed Obama with a 2-point edge, 50 to 48 over Romney, an advantage within the poll’s margin of error.  A Tribune Review poll of Pennsylvania, shows the candidates tied there with each receiving 47 percent support.  A WMUR/UNH poll in New Hampshire from Saturday also shows the candidates tied, with each tallying 49 percent.

But a Des Moines Register poll released late Saturday shows Obama up 5, with 47 percent support in Iowa to Romney’s 42. A Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Mason-Dixon poll shows Romney up 6 in Florida, with 51 to 45 percent support.

The Washington Post poll was conducted from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 and has a 3-point margin of error.