WASHINGTON President Barack Obama regained some footing and overtook his Republican rival Mitt Romney in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday, a day after the end of the Democratic convention.
In what appears to be a convention-induced bounce, Obama jumped ahead in the latest daily tracking poll with 46 percent of 1,434 likely voters saying they would vote for him if the November 6 elections were held today, topping Romney's 44 percent.
The rolling four-day online poll was conducted through early Friday. The Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Obama accepted his party's nomination for a second term, wrapped up late on Thursday night with the president's nationally televised speech.
"The numbers only moved a little bit but they moved in the direction that suggests that we may be seeing the first inkling of a post-convention bump," Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.
Romney in the past few days had held a 1 or 2 percentage point lead in the poll in the wake of the Republican convention last week.
The poll does not reflect sentiment following the Labor Department's release on Friday of August employment numbers, which showed that jobs growth slowed sharply last month.
Seventy-two percent of 1,670 registered voters surveyed in the poll said the national economy and the federal budget deficit are heading in the wrong direction. Sixty-eight percent of polled voters said the same about the employment and jobs.
"These are the metrics against which the candidates have to battle it out. This backdrop is very challenging and it's turning into a blame game," said Clark, repeating her earlier predictions of a very close race all the way until the election.
Friday's poll likely reflected the views of those who had heard the well-received convention speech by former President Bill Clinton but not Obama's own speech that offered a steady-as-you-go message.
Asked who was the more likable candidate, 52 percent of registered voters surveyed favored Obama compared to 29 percent for Romney. Among independents, Obama enjoyed a likability advantage of 50 percent to 22 percent for Romney.
Obama also widened his lead over Romney in categories of "represents America" (Obama 44 percent, Romney 37 percent), "tough enough for the job" (Obama 42 percent, Romney 37 percent) and "will protect American jobs" (Obama 40 percent, Romney 37 percent).
The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for all respondents.
(Editing by Fred Barbash and Will Dunham)