Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is gaining ground on Barack Obama, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, but it remains unclear whether the popularity boost can be attributed to the Republican National Convention, where he has yet to speak.
In a four-day rolling poll released Tuesday, Obama was up two percentage points on Romney, 45 per cent to 43 per cent. That marks a two-percentage point gap closure from Monday's polling data when Obama was ahead four points.
"I think if we started to see Romney creep up or become even with Obama or overtake him, that's when I would say the convention is changing things," Ipsos pollster Julia Clark told Reuters.
But an ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted in the run-up to the convention and released Tuesday, found Romney the "least popular major-party nominee since 1984." Fifty-one per cent of respondents rated Romney "unfavorably," while 40 per cent rated him "favorably." Favourability is considered a more reliable barometer than likeability for measuring a candidate's popularity because it polls for empathy, or how the candidate understands issues faced by average Americans.
President Barack Obama did not fare much better, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll. Fifty per cent rated Obama "favorably," compared with 47 per cent "unfavorably."