Poll: Voters like Obama better than Romney, but split on handling of economy
Gender gap continues to persist
The latest poll pitting President Barack Obama against his likely GOP opponent Mitt Romney shows the president topping his GOP rival in a head-to-head matchup, though voters remain split on which presidential contender is best equipped to handle the economy.
The survey, from Washington Post/ABC News, showed Americans divided on which candidate would best handle economic issues - 47 percent said Romney would do a better job handling the economy generally, compared to 43 percent who named Obama. But when asked which man would be better at creating jobs, 46 percent named Obama and 43 percent said Romney. Both margins were within the poll's 3.5% sampling error.
Voters were less divided on other key issues - 53 percent said Obama was best poised to handle international affairs, compared to 36 percent who said Romney. Conversely, when asked which man would do a better job of reducing the federal deficit, 51 percent said Romney and 38 percent said Obama.
In terms of likability, Obama held a clear advantage. Sixty-four percent of Americans polled said the president was a more friendly and likable person, a nearly 2-to-1 advantage over Romney, who was at 26 percent.
Obama's overall approval rating stood at 50 percent, but dipped when respondents were polled about specific issues. Forty four percent said they approved of the way the president was handling the economy, and only 28 percent approved of how Obama was handling high gas prices. His rating on handling of international affairs was higher, at 47 percent.
When asked which candidate they would choose if the election were held today, 51 percent of Americans said they would pick Obama and 44 percent went with Romney.
The serious gender gap between the two candidates - also seen in recent Gallup and CNN/ORC polls - continues to persist. Obama had the support of 57 percent of women, compared to 38 percent who said they backed Romney. The former Massachusetts governor had the backing from 52 percent of men, compared to 44 percent who back Obama.
Among another important voting block, independents, the poll shows a much tighter race. Forty-eight percent of independents backed Romney, compared to 46 percent who said they supported Obama. That was within the survey's sampling error.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll was conducted by phone April 5-8, and surveyed 1,103 adults. The sampling error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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