WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama’s lead over Republican Mitt Romney narrowed to 5 percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday, from a high of seven points in the week after the Democratic National Convention.
With just 50 days before the November 6 election, Obama led the former Massachusetts governor by 48 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in the online poll conducted September 12-17. In a similar poll last Thursday, he led by 48 percent to 41 percent.
“My takeaway is that it’s pretty decent news for Obama that his bump is sustaining so long and he may be turning the post-convention bump into a lead,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.
In a shift in recent days, Americans also gave a small edge to Obama on the crucial topics of jobs and the economy, as they feel less nervous about economic conditions.
Thirty-seven percent of registered voters thought Obama had a better plan for the economy, compared with 34 percent who favored Romney on the issue. Obama led 36 percent to 35 percent on the issue in a poll released last Thursday.
Forty percent backed Obama on jobs and employment, compared with 36 percent who favored Romney.
“This is a bit of a shift,” Clark said. The two candidates had been tied or Romney was slightly ahead on the economy since May, but that has changed to give Obama a small edge in the wake of the convention.
“People are not really quite as nervous about the economy as they were a couple of months ago,” Clark said.
However, more of the registered voters surveyed picked Romney as the candidate who would best deal with the federal government’s budget deficit, at 34 percent, to 29 percent for Obama.
They gave Obama large leads when asked who would handle issues including healthcare (12 percentage points) and taxes (13 points), as well as Medicare (16 points) and Social Security (13 points.
The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points for all respondents. For the 591 likely voters surveyed, it was 4.8 percentage points.
Editing by Alistair Bell and Todd Eastham