Romney leads on the “scary to terrorists” question 39 to 37 percent, according to the poll conducted by Langer Research for Esquire/Yahoo! News.
The result is well within the poll’s margin of error, which is 4 percentage points for a random national sample of 1,002 adults.
But it is a surprising result after the successful Navy SEAL mission last year that resulted in the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, under Obama’s watch. The survey also found that more Americans trust Obama than Romney “to commit the U.S. to war.” Obama leads Romney 46 to 37 percent in the survey response.
The poll also found that 3 out of 4 Americans say they have little or nothing in common with Romney, and the GOP nominee leads Obama 74 to 59 percent on that topic. Only 5 percent feel they have “a lot” in common with Romney, compared to 14 percent who say the same of Obama.
The question gets at the issue of likability, an area where Romney has consistently trailed Obama in polls.
The same poll, in results released last week, found most people think Obama would beat Romney in a fistfight, at 58 to 22 percent.
None of the questions polled rank high on the list of issues expected to decide voters this November. The economy and jobs consistently rank as the most important topic to voters this election, followed by healthcare.