A new CNN/ORC International poll shows President Obama in a statistical dead heat with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Obama leads Romney 49 percent to 47 percent among likely voters in the poll. Of likely voters polled, 11 percent said they might change their mind between now and Election Day.
Among the larger pool of registered voters, some of whom will stay home on Election Day, the survey indicates the president holds a 52 percent-43 percent lead. That number is little changed from CNN's previous poll, which was conducted in early August.
In the wake of controversial comments by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., about pregnancies resulting from rape, 83 percent of respondents affirmed their belief that abortion should be legal in cases of rape.
Despite the negative tenor of the presidential campaign, the poll found that enthusiasm about voting has grown since the end of June. The percentage of respondents who said they were “extremely enthusiastic” or “very enthusiastic” about voting has increased to 58 percent from 53 percent the last time the question was asked.
The shift reflects a 10-point increase in Republicans who are very or extremely enthusiastic -- good news for Romney as he looks to build on that momentum at next week’s convention. Democratic enthusiasm remains virtually unchanged.
Obama’s job approval rating remained steady from early August at 50 percent, with those disapproving dropping from 47 to 44 percent of those surveyed.
Obama’s and Romney’s favorable-unfavorable ratings among likely voters were nearly identical, at 52 percent to 47 percent and 50 percent to 46 percent, respectively. The split for Romney's new running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, was 45 percent to 39 percent.
The CNN poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.
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