The race for the White House could scarcely be closer as Republicans gather in Tampa, Fla., on Monday to officially nominate Mitt Romney as their candidate.

Romney edges President Obama 47 percent to 46 among registered voters, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Monday, well within the poll’s 4 percentage point margin of error. The same poll from early July showed the candidates deadlocked at 47.

The Real Clear Politics average of polls is just as close, now showing Obama with a 47-46 lead.

ADVERTISEMENT

Republicans have talked about the importance of “telling Mitt Romney’s story” while reintroducing the candidate at the Republican National Convention this week, and the poll indicates this will be critical — President Obama has a huge lead over Romney in likability, 61 percent to 27.

The social issues that have sidetracked the GOP message in recent weeks also play into Obama’s hands, as he has double-digit leads on social and women’s issues.

But despite the recent focus on those matters, a majority of voters still say the economy is the No. 1 issue, and here Romney holds a 7-point advantage. Romney is also the clear leader on who would do a better job reducing the deficit.

President Obama has a positive approval rating in the poll, at 50 positive and 46 negative, which is where former President George W. Bush was at this time in 2004.

For Romney, tapping Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) as his running mate has helped him close the enthusiasm gap on the president. Obama once led by 25 percentage points on enthusiasm and held a 13-point advantage as recently as July. That lead has been cut to 48-42, according to the poll.

The survey of 1,002 adults was conducted on Aug. 25.