Ahead of the first of the three Presidential debates this month, Barack Obama, the incumbent and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney are virtually tied, a series of latest opinion poll has revealed.

The results of the opinion polls come less than 50 hours before the crucial first of the three Presidential debates between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney. The performance of Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney during these debates is expected to play a significant role in determining the final winner in the November 6, 2012 presidential elections.

Fifty per cent of likely voters questioned in the CNN survey, which was released on Monday, say that if the election were held today, they would vote for the President, with 47 per cent saying they would support Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor. The President’s three point margin is within the poll’s sampling error of CNN/ORC International Poll.

The CNN/ORC poll comes in the heel of a few other similar polls which have also indicated the same. According to ABC News/Washington Post poll, Mr. Obama has a support of 49 per cent as against Mr. Romney’s 47 per cent. Politico/GWU and Battleground also report the same results.

While results of Rasmussen Tracking matches that of CNN/ORC, in the Gallup Polling, Mr. Obama is ahead of Mr. Romney by four points. “That’s a strong suggestion that whatever bounce President Obama received from his convention has, as expected, faded away,” says CNN polling director Keating Holland.

CNN said when it comes to issues, the survey indicates that Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are effectively tied when likely voters are asked which candidate would best handle the economy.

Mr. Romney, however, appears to have an edge on the top two economic issues: unemployment and the budget deficit. Mr. Obama, by contrast, has the advantage on a variety of non-economic domestic issues such as education, medicare and health care, and also polls strongly on taxes, traditionally a GOP issue, CNN said.

All of these issues will most likely be debated by the candidates on Wednesday night.

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