WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama held a slight lead over Republican Mitt Romney two days before the two hold their first presidential debate on Wednesday.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Monday, Mr Obama was leading Mr Romney 49 percent to 47 percent. But in swing states, which play a crucial role in US presidential elections, Mr Obama had a more comfortable lead, 52 per cent to 41 per cent.
A Gallup poll, also released on Monday, gave Mr Obama a comfortable lead among middle-income earners, 53 to 43 per cent.
Another poll conducted for Politico and George Washington University, showed Mr Obama leading Mr Romney among likely voters nationally 49 per cent to 47 per cent.
The presidential debates mark the final session of the year-long campaign, which began late last year. The elections are scheduled for Nov 6. Latest opinion polls indicated that the Americans seemed more interested in knowing how the two candidates would revive an ailing economy than in any other issue.
This goes against President Obama as he had hoped to use last year’s raid in Abbottabad, which killed Osama bin Laden, to win over voters. In previous elections, candidates have used presidential debates to reduce popularity gaps or to expand their lead.
The Republicans expect Mr Romney to overcome the edge that Mr Obama has had over him since the election season began.
The Democrats, however, believe that Mr Obama is a better debater and he can use the debates to further expand his lead.
But even Republicans believe that it would be difficult to reduce Mr Obama’s popularity among middle and lower-income families.