Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney surges in his likability among voters in battleground states, quickly catching up with President Barack Obama in that regard after his stellar debate performance earlier this month, latest poll results show.
A POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters released on Monday puts Obama ahead of Romney 49 percent to 48 percent, a statistical tie and the same as the week before.
But Romney has improved his likability numbers. A slim majority, 51 percent, now view Romney favorably as a person, while 44 percent view him unfavorably. Meanwhile, 53 percent of those surveyed have a positive impression of Obama personally, and 45 percent do not.
Politico said Obama's enduring personal popularity has been a "key reason" for his political resiliency. But with the incumbent and Romney now essentially tied on likability, the race may hinge more on the two candidates' performances in the second debate, set to be conducted in a townhall-meeting style Tuesday night.