With six months until Election Day, the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney has tightened into a statistical dead heat.
Two new polls find that while the candidates are tied for overall support, Obama remains the more well-liked candidate, and Romney is considered the more apt at handling the economy.
Romney edged Obama, 48 percent to 47 percent, in the Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll, a nationwide survey of 1,000 voters conducted last week by the Republican firm the Tarrance Group and the Democratic firm Lake Research Partners. Obama bested Romney, 47 percent to 45 percent, in a Gallup Swing States Poll, which surveyed 951 registered voters in 12 swing states during the same time period.
In each case, the results were within the margin of error, meaning the candidates are statistically tied. Politico's February poll had Obama leading Romney by 9 percentage points. The Swing State survey had Obama with a 9-percentage-point lead in late March.
Meanwhile, Gallup's five-day average, which showed Obama with a slight 46 percent to 45 percent lead last week, has flipped in favor of Romney.
Among all respondents in the new Politico poll, 43 percent said they will vote to re-elect Obama in November, 42 percent said they will vote to replace him, and 11 percent said they will consider voting for someone other than Obama.
In an analysis accompanying the poll results, Republican pollsters Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber touted the results as evidence that Romney is "a credible candidate who is fully capable of defeating" Obama.
"This should have been a time when President Obama was at his strongest," Goeas and Nienaber wrote.
Still, at this early point in the campaign, voters appeared to prefer Obama over Romney on a host of other issues aside from the economy.
Obama holds a whopping 23-percentage-point lead over Romney (58 percent to 35 percent) on the question of who would better stand up for the middle class. He also leads Romney on "sharing your values" and on who would better handle foreign policy, taxes, health care, jobs, and Social Security and Medicare. The only category in which Romney performed better than Obama was when voters were asked who would better handle the economy. Romney won 48 percent to Obama's 45 percent.