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WASHINGTON — Two days before the first of three debates ahead of the November election, a ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday shows President Barack Obama leading Republican challenger Mitt Romney by two points – 49 percent to 47 percent.
The race for the White House has been virtually tied for months, making the first debate Wednesday night a pivotal moment for the candidates. The republican nominee is expected to capitalize on the president's handling of the economy and budget deficit, including the 8.1 percent jobless rate.
78 percent of those interviewed for the ABC News/Washington Post poll said they are worried about the direction of the economy and view both candidates' economic policies equally (47 percent). On the other hand, most of voters trust the president on social issues (52 percent), terrorism (53 percent) and foreign policy (49 percent).
The loser of this week's debate will have two additional opportunities – October 16 and 22 – to sell their policies to voters. By a two-to-one margin, voters expect Obama to win the upcoming debates and the November election.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone between September 26 and 29 with a sample of 1,101 adults, including 929 registered voters and 813 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for registered voters and 4 points for likely voters.