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Poll: Obama vulnerable on economy, Romney weak on voter approval

Obama faces an electorate that sees the US economy in bleak terms, but he still outperforms Mitt Romney on voter favorability and in swing states, says a poll by the conservative group Resurgent Republic, released at the GOP convention.

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President Obama (photo on left) reaches out to shake hands after speaking at a campaign event at Capital University on Aug. 21, in Columbus, Ohio, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) shakes hands with supporters after his speech during a rally at Guerdon Enterprises in Boise, Idaho, Feb. 17.

AP/File

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President Obama faces an electorate with a bleak assessment of the American economy and the nation’s standing overall, according to polling released Monday by the conservative group Resurgent Republic, yet voters are evenly divided on their approval of Mr. Obama, who still leads his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, in favorability and is ahead by a nose in swing states.

“If there’s one candidate who has a problem being outside the mainstream of American voters, it’s not Mitt Romney,” said Whit Ayres, the Republican pollster who ran the survey. “It’s Barack Obama.”

A majority of American voters (54 percent) say the country isn’t moving “forward,” Mr. Obama’s campaign slogan, and nearly 7 in 10 believe the nation is in a recession, according to the poll, given to reporters at a Resurgent Republic briefing at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

The US economy is not in a recession (defined as negative growth in quarterly gross domestic product, among other measures), and has not been since June 2009.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say the federal government’s financial situation is worse today than when Obama took office in 2009, with about 5 in 10 saying the government’s ability to solve problems and help the American economy is probably worse than in 2009. The only measure on which Americans say the situation is better today than three years ago is on safety from terrorists: 39 percent say the nation’s security standing has improved versus 20 percent who say it has declined.

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