Romney fails to convince fence-sitters

Romney fails to convince fence-sitters

Romney fails to convince fence-sitters

Romney’s performance in the first debate makes little impact, a poll shows. ABACA PRESS photo

Mitt Romney’s strong debate performance did little to convince more voters he understands them or is a “good person” even though he has narrowed President Barack Obama’s overall poll lead, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Sept. 6.

Just a month before the Nov. 6 election, the Democratic president is ahead of his Republican challenger on character attributes that can win over undecided voters who have not been swayed on policy points.

Romney gained in a few areas, but not at Obama’s expense despite the incumbent’s lackluster performance in the first presidential debate on Oct. 3. Obama kept his slim 2 percentage point lead over Romney among likely voters - 47 to 45 percent - in the online survey.

The gap was unchanged from Friday, when Obama led by 46 to 44 percent in the tracking poll. His lead was 6 percentage points before the two men first went head-to-head in Denver.

“We haven’t seen additional gains from Romney. This suggests to me that this is more of a bounce than a permanent shift,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.

The poll did not show Obama backers shifting to Romney. Rather, Romney’s small gains on a few of the issues came from people who had been undecided.

Forty-seven percent of registered voters deemed Obama “a good person,” compared with 31 percent who felt that way about Romney. Obama held his ground on a range of such questions. Far more voters (53 to 29 percent) deemed Obama likeable than feel the same way about Romney. He also leads by a healthy margin (43 to 37 percent) on who has the right values to be president.

In addition, 43 percent felt Obama “understands people like me,” compared with 31 percent who felt that way about Romney.