Today, ABC News/Washington Post released a poll showing a virtual dead heat between Obama and Romney. The survey was conducted September 7-9 among adults with subsamples of registered and likely voters.
Obama does show a convention bounce gain among registered voters, with a 6% advantage over Romney. In other words, Obama has more support among voters who are probably not going to vote. A more accurate assessment of likely voters have the candidates tied with no bounce: Obama registers with 49% of the vote and Romney at 48%.
Unfortunately, the topline results are based on a sample of registered voters, rather than likely voters, so important tactical questions about image, job approval and confidence are difficult to analyze. One thing is certain, this election is about GOTV efforts, as evidenced by Romney’s 4% jump among likely voters. If Obama runs a successful ground game and turns out voters not inclined to head to the ballot box, he could take the election.
The ABC/WaPo likely voter numbers stand in direct contrast to the rather bizarre poll released by CNN yesterday. In that survey, CNN showed Obama up over Romney at 52% to 46% among likely voters. But with a sample of likely voters that included only 4% independent voters, the results are highly suspect.