Three weeks before election, White House race remains tight


President Brack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney remain locked in a virtual dead heat, with Republicans showing increased enthusiasm for their nominee after his boosting performance in the first presidential debate, a new poll says.
Released on the eve of the second presidential debate –expected to focus on foreign policy- the new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that likely voters in the new poll split 49 percent for Obama to 46 percent for Romney. The voters remain basically unmoved from the poll two weeks ago, just before the two candidates met in Denver for their first debate.
The Post reported that on topic after topic, the survey portrays an electorate that remains deeply divided along partisan lines and locked in its views, about three weeks from November 6 election.
Nearly two-thirds say they do not need any more information before Election Day, and barely one in eight is undecided or says there is a chance he could change his vote. Even as voters overwhelmingly perceive that Romney won the first debate, the vast majority says their opinion of the president did not shift as a result.
But more people changed their views of Romney, largely in a positive direction. Overall, more than twice as many say their opinions of the former Massachusetts governor improved than say they worsened as a result of the debate. The strongest reaction is among Romney backers, 70 percent of whom say Denver made them think more highly of the GOP nominee.
Fewer of his supporters now express anxiety about a Romney administration, and the number of his backers saying they support him “very enthusiastically” jumped by double digits.
Meanwhile, enthusiasm for the president has also ticked higher, but it remains below where it was four years ago. Of course, at this time in October 2008, Obama held a 10-percentage-point lead over his Republican rival senator John McCain. In the new poll, a three-point edge does not represent a statistically significant advantage.