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President Barack Obama told reporters this morning that he’s feeling “fabulous” ahead of tonight’s debate. That was just hours before Gallup reported that GOP nominee Mitt Romney led 50 percent to 46 percent nationally among likely voters, amid a host of other polls showing the president’s re-election bid struggling.
“I feel fabulous,” Obama told pool reporters at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., before heading to New York for tonight’s debate. Obama didn’t answer a shouted question about whether Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was to blame for the inadequate security that preceded the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. In a Monday interview in which she was asked about the attack and the death of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Clinton said that the security of all State Department personnel is her “responsibility.”
While Obama has outwardly appeared confident, Democrats have become increasingly nervous as they’ve watched his downward slide in the polls, with today’s Gallup’s numbers marking his worst showing yet. In the today’s seven-day tracking poll, Obama was tied with Romney among registered voters, suggesting an enduring enthusiasm gap. The polls suggest there has been no bounce for Obama out of last week’s vice presidential debate.
USA Today/Gallup had earlier released polling in 12 battleground states which also showed a 4-point Romney advantage, with the challenger erasing Obama’s lead among female voters.
Rasmussen Reports also had Romney in the lead — 49 percent to 47 percent — while a Washington Post/ABC poll had the president with a 49 percent to 46 percent advantage.
A bright spot appears to be in the state of Ohio, where a poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showed Obama with a 5-point edge and Rasmussen Reports showed him with a 1-point edge in recent days.
Ohio polling this year has tended to show Obama outperforming his national standing, and Romney’s path to victory without that state is problematic at best.
It remains to be seen whether a strong debate performance could boost Obama in the remaining weeks of the campaign, but the president’s advisers have promised a more aggressive stance from him in the town hall-style debate at Hofstra University tonight.