Mitt Romney is almost neck-and-neck with President Obama among nationwide voters, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Monday, but the Republican nominee has fallen behind by double digits in the swing states most likely to decide the outcome of the election.
Obama’s swing-state lead is 52 percent to 41 percent among likely voters in New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada, the poll showed. Nationally, the race is a virtual dead heat, with the president up, 49-47.
The 11-point gap in the swing-state survey is wider than other recent polls, but surveys over the last week have consistently shown Obama pulling ahead in the election’s battlegrounds.
Romney has an opportunity to cut into Obama’s lead on Wednesday in the first debate of the campaign.
Romney’s team has tried to minimize expectations and has cast the president as the favorite — a time-tested campaign strategy designed to set up a surprise win. But on Sunday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie boasted that Romney will turn the tide with a strong debate performance in Denver.
“Come Thursday morning, the entire narrative of this race is going to change,’’ Christie said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.’’
“You saw the change in those polls happen very quickly, and I’m here to tell you this morning it can happen very quickly back the other way,’’ Christie added. “And I think the beginning of that is Wednesday night, when Governor Romney, for the first time, gets on the same stage as the president of the United States, and people can make a direct comparison about them and their visions for the future.’’
The Washington Post/ABC poll showed likely voters across the country believe by a 55-31 margin that Obama will win Wednesday’s debate.