President Obama and Mitt Romney are deadlocked among likely voters as they prepare to square off in their first presidential debate, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.
Obama and Romney each pulled in 47 percent support in the poll among likely voters. It is among the narrowest margins of several presidential surveys published ahead of the debate this week. Other polls have shown the president with a slim lead. In this survey, while the race is tied among likely voters, Obama has a 5-point lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, among registered voters.
The survey was conducted Sept. 27-30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
Romney led in the poll among independents, 49 percent to 41 percent, with both candidates winning more than 90 percent support from their respective parties. The survey had Obama winning 81 percent of the nonwhite vote and Romney carrying 55 percent of white voters.
In estimating the turnout on Nov. 6, the poll projects an electorate that is 74 percent white, 11 percent African-American, and 8 percent Latino. The likely-voter party splits are 36 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican, and 30 percent independent.
The estimates are similar to the 2008 turnout, when, according to CNN exit polling, 74 percent of voters were white, 13 percent black, and 9 percent Latino, with Democratic turnout at 39 percent, Republicans at 32 percent, and independents at 29 percent.
To see the rest of the report on the poll, click here.
It's interesting see the difference result between "registered voters" and the subset of "likely voters" in this poll. During the process of asking a respondent questions, the pollster will ask about the likelihood a person registered will vote come Election Day. The screen is generally more important in low turnout elections than presidential elections. Plus people lie a lot on that question. People responding to pollsters generally don't want to admit they may not vote.
The surprising five point difference between registered voters and likely voters suggest that the Democrats are going to have to work extra hard to make sure those registered voters favoring Obama actually go vote for the President. It's a reflection an enthusiasm gap that may not have gone away after all.