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Romney gains edge in poll over Obama for first time

(Xinhua)

08:06, July 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 19 (Xinhua) -- New poll results released on Thursday indicated presumed U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had gained an edge over President Barack Obama for the first time since the primaries, showing the sluggish economy is hurting Obama's standing.

According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll results, 45 percent of those interviewed in the poll said they would vote for Romney if the election were held now and 43 percent said they would vote for Obama.

When undecided voters who leaned toward a particular candidate were included, Romney also had 47 percent over Obama's 46 percent.

However, both results were within the poll's margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, meaning the race remains essentially tied.

But it was the first time Romney had shown a numeric edge in the Times/CBS poll since he emerged from the primaries as the presumptive nominee.

Perhaps what should worry Obama more in the poll was his approval rating on the handling of the economy, with 39 percent saying they approved and 55 percent saying they disapproved, marking a significant shift in the public opinion.

In the Times/CBS poll in April, when the economy seemed to have momentum, 44 percent approved and 48 percent disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy.

New York Times commented that declining confidence in the nation's economic prospects was undercutting key areas of support for Obama and helping give Romney an advantage on the question of who would better handle the nation's economic challenges.

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