Only 45 per cent of likely voters prefer the incumbent as compared to 49 per cent who think the Republican presidential candidate is a good choice, the poll showed. As far as registered voters are concerned, 46 per cent are going to vote for Obama and an equal number for Romney.
Pew's earlier poll in mid September had put Obama ahead by 9 points but Romney's performance in the first debate between the two candidates saw him bridging the gap and even gaining a slight edge.
However, Obama still has enough support. The Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on Oct 7 says that if the presidential election were to be held now, 47 per cent of likely voters will exercise their franchise in favour of Obama while 45 per cent will vote for Romney.
The Oct 3 debate seems to have done wonders for Romney since nearly 67 per cent of those who watched the candidates were apparently impressed by his repartee.
"Romney is seen as the candidate who has new ideas and is viewed as better able than Obama to improve the jobs situation and reduce the budget deficit," Pew said.
Prior to the debate, Obama enjoyed a clear lead in most polls. Among women voters, he was the overwhelming favourite. Pew found that the situation has changed and almost half the women voters now back Romney. He is also liked by white non-Hispanics and young voters whose age is below 50.