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Romney shrinking Obama’s enthusiasm advantage, poll shows

Enthusiasm among supporters of Mitt Romney has risen dramatically in the last few months -- to a point where it now almost matches the verve among backers of President Obama, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published Monday.

Battered by the Republican primary season and working to attract voters who preferred former rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, Romney had the “very enthusiastic” support of only 26 percent of his likely voters in May, according to an earlier version of the survey.

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At the time, Obama’s “very enthusiastic” rating was 51 percent -- almost double that of Romney.

Three months later, Romney has surged to 42 percent, and the president has dipped slightly to 48 percent. The presumptive GOP nominee also has slashed the share of likely voters who support him “not at all” enthusiastically from 9 percent in May to 4 percent now, exactly where Obama stands.

As he has staged an enthusiasm rally, Romney also has made small gains in the poll’s overall results. He trailed Obama by 8 percentage points in April, 3 points in May, and now holds a 1-point lead among registered voters.

The survey of 857 registered voters, conducted between Aug. 22 and 25, has a 4-point margin of error.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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