Don Meikle attends an April job fair in Portland, Ore. A new poll shows the economy remains the most important factor for Americans in deciding who to back for president, but with adults split over who would best lead the U.S. economy.
Don Meikle attends an April job fair in Portland, Ore. A new poll shows the economy remains the most important factor for Americans in deciding who to back for president, but with adults split over who would best lead the U.S. economy. Rick Bowmer/AP
President Obama and his expected Republican challenger are tied on the all-important question of who can best deal with the ailing economy, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Among registered voters, 47 percent said Obama and 47 percent said Mitt Romney when asked which candidate they trust to do a better job handling the economy.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll of adults nationwide shows Obama with a slight edge — 49 percent to 46 percent — when registered voters said whom they would pick if the election were being held now.
And the economy easily trumped all other considerations, with 52 percent of respondents calling it the single most important issue in the November election.
The candidates were essentially tied on who would be better at creating jobs.
Obama led Romney, 48 percent to 40 percent, when respondents said which candidate "better understands the economic problems people in this country are having." But that's a slight decline for Obama on the question since early this year (he was at 53 percent in February), and a slight increase for Romney (who was at 36 percent in February).
Obama's job approval number was 47 percent, down from 50 percent last month. In the poll, conducted May 17-20, 42 percent of respondents approved of Obama's handling of the economy, down from 44 percent in April.
Overall, 77 percent of adults questioned said they were closely following the presidential race.