By Justin Sink
A pair of new national polls show the general election virtually deadlocked with just over five months to go before Election Day.
A poll released Friday from Sachs/Mason-Dixon finds Republican challenger Mitt Romney with a 3 percentage point lead (47-44 percent), while a dueling survey from Investor's Business Daily and The Christian Science Monitor shows President Obama with the 3-point edge (43-40 percent).
The results of both are within the respective margins of error, suggesting the race remains tight as a drum.
The Sachs/Mason-Dixon poll queried participants about the role they believe emerging technologies and social media will play in the campaign. Some seven in 10 Americans say the race will be shaped heavily by social media, and Internet sites lead all but television news as the primary source of information for voters.
"In today's ever-changing media landscape, it's essential that political campaigns, the media and the voters themselves have a clear understanding of how citizens receive their news and information," said Ron Sachs, whose firm conducted the Mason-Dixon poll, in a statement. "Modern political campaigns can no longer rely exclusively on traditional ways of reaching voters, and this is the first poll I've seen that takes the so-called 'new' media and matches it up to people's voting preferences."
Some 84 percent of respondents said sites like Facebook and Twitter will play a crucial role in fundraising, and more believe the president has the edge with new technologies. Roughly 49 percent say Obama makes better use of social media platforms, versus 23 percent for Romney.
More would rather be "friends" with Obama on Facebook (37-33 percent), although that might come with a price — more voters think Romney looks presidential (40-35 percent).