Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Presidential Election

October 1, 2012

Poll: Tight race nationally as first debate nears

(Continued)

The president's overall approval rating among registered voters is now 49 percent positive, 49 percent negative. He tilts positive among all Americans, with 50 percent approving of his job performance and 46 percent disapproving.

Voters are also split on Obama's handling of international affairs. This comes at a time when the administration has been on the defensive over the attacks in Libya that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The president gets higher marks when it comes to voters' assessments of his knowledge of world affairs: Sixty-four percent say he knows enough to be effective. At this stage, voters are less convinced about Romney: Fifty-one percent perceive that he has sufficient knowledge of international affairs to be an effective president; 43 percent say he does not.

There is more parity in voter expectations for what will happen with the economy after the election: Few voters are "very confident" that the economy will get back on track in the next year or two, regardless of who wins. Things have seesawed in a positive direction here for Romney: Fifty-one percent of voters are at least somewhat confident things would quickly improve under his administration, up five points from before the conventions.

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The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Sept. 26-29, among a random sample of 1,101 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the sample of 929 registered voters. It is four percentage points for sample of 813 likely voters. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York.

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Presidential Election