The topline number is scary: Romney and Obama remain tied at 47 in the final Politico battleground poll. But underneath that, Romney leads strongly among independents, 47-32. Republicans lead Democrats on the generic congressional ballot, 47-46. Also:
Romney maintains a significant 6-point advantage on who is better for the economy and creating jobs, 51 percent to 45 percent. A majority, 53 percent, disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, 57 disapprove of his spending policies and 54 think the country is on the wrong track.
For the first time all year, Romney has taken the lead on which candidate will better handle tax policy. Obama was up by 2 points for the past four weeks, but Romney pulled ahead by 1 point, 48 percent to 47 percent — a statistical tie.
Obama is stronger on non-economic issues, but the margin has narrowed in several categories. His 10-point edge on foreign policy has tightened to 7 points in the past few days. His 8-point lead on Medicare narrowed to 6 points. A 14-point advantage on standing up for the middle class last week ends at 11 percent.
Obama’s 5-point advantage on the question of which candidate more shares your values last week is now a 1-point advantage, 48 percent to 47 percent. A 3-point edge on who is the stronger leader dwindled to 1 point.
Romney has used his closing argument to argue that he’s best suited to bring real change, and it appears to have had an impact. Voters see him as more able to get things done, by 49 percent to 44 percent, than Obama.