A new bipartisan poll shows a drop in enthusiasm among Democrats for President Barack Obama since the summer conventions, but he still leads Mitt Romney nationwide by a narrow one percent margin.
Among those who specifically identified themselves as Democrats the figure was only slightly better — 76 percent compared to 84 percent for Republicans.
Among those who said they were extremely likely to vote, 52 percent said they favored Romney to 46 percent for Obama. That finding essentially reversed the results of the same tracking poll from three weeks ago, when Obama led Romney among extremely likely voters by a margin of 50 percent to 47 percent.
The latest tracking poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Oct. 1-4 by Republican pollster by Ed Goeas and Democratic pollster Lucinda Lake, both of whom called the race a statistical dead heat even though most of the interviews were conducted before Romney was declared the winner of the first presidential debate on Oct. 3.
According to Politico, "part of the problem for Obama is that twice as many voters expect him to win."
The poll backed up that view. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed by Goeas and Lake said they believe Obama will likely win, regardless of who they plan to support. Only 31 percent said they expect Romney to prevail.
"This could dampen Democratic turnout, so it’s actually good for Obama that Romney’s debate performance will likely narrow this expectations gap," Politico reported based on the poll's findings.
But the poll suggested the Obama campaign still has a lot to be concerned about. For example, only 71 percent of African-American voters and 70 percent of Latinos — both key groups for Obama — said they were "extremely likely to vote, while 82 percent of Whites, who break for Romney by a 15 percent margin, say they are extremely likely to cast their ballots.
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Adding to the president's problem, only 68 percent of voters 29 and younger listed themselves as extremely likely to show up on Election Day.
But the poll also found that Romney still has a way to go to improve his favorability rating among women, despite the bump he got from his debate performance. Obama still leads Romney among likely women voters by 55 percent to 42 percent, the poll found, and 51 percent said they still view him unfavorably.
“Romney did improve his favorability a little bit, but he’s still got major problems in the battleground states and with women,” said Lake.
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