Raleigh, NC -- Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are dead even at 48% heading into Monday's debate, based on an average of Public Policy Polling's national tracking between Friday and Sunday.
Barack Obama had a small lead in Friday interviews, Mitt Romney had a slight advantage on Saturday, and the candidates were dead even on Sunday.
According to PPP's tracking, Obama is up 50/46 with women, 61/33 with Hispanics, 85/9 with African Americans, and 50/39 with young voters. Romney is up 51/44 with men, 57/39 with whites, and 51/47 with seniors.
One key development for Romney is that he's up 51/41 with independents, which helps him make up for the party identification advantage Democrats have nationally.
Obama's approval rating is 45% with 50% of voters disapproving of him, making it important that he make a compelling case for voters Monday night about why his first term has been a success. Romney's favorability rating is back on positive ground at 49/45, while Obama's is dead even at 48/48.
The state of the race heading into the final debate is that it's tied nationally, and the candidates are within 2 points of each other on the most recent PPP surveys in the critical swing states of Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
PPP surveyed 1,200 likely voters nationally between October 19th and 21st. The margin of error for their survey is +/-2.8%. PPP conducts its surveys through automated telephone interviews. The poll was done on behalf of Americans United For Change.
Public Policy Polling