President Barack Obama will enter the third and final 2012 presidential debate Monday with a five-point lead among likely voters in Ohio over GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney -- a decline of five points, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University and CBS News.
The poll shows that Obama is at 50 percent while Romney is not too far behind with 45 percent. Last month’s polling data had Obama at 53 percent and Romney at 43 percent.
Further, only 3 percent of likely voters are undecided, according to the poll; 95 percent of likely voters have already made up their minds.
Foreign Policy And Benghazi
The two major party nominees will get one more chance to lay things on the line Monday night in Florida, when they debate foreign policy. Obama walked away the victor of the second debate last Tuesday at New York's Hofstra University, and the Democrats are hoping for another strong performance.
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A major highlight of the last debate occurred when the two argued about the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. Democrats have accused Romney of politicizing the attack, which led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
In the first few days after the attack, there were conflicting responses from the administration surrounding the cause of the attack. Riding high off a first debate win, Romney criticized the president for the administration's conflicting reports. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Benghazi was a terror attack, while others said it was a spontaneous demonstration stemming from an anti-Islam YouTube video made in the United States.
Romney and other Republican critics immediately accused Obama of a cover-up, and also criticized the administration's initial unwillingness to call the Benghazi assault a terror attack. However, the day after the attack Obama stood in the Rose Garden and told the nation that, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”
Romney was also reminded of this fact in the second debate by the moderator, CNN journalist Candy Crowley.
Despite the ongoing Benghazi debate, Ohio voters believe that Obama is better equipped to handle U.S. foreign policy, 50 to 43 percent, according to the Quinnipiac University/CBS News poll. The two men are now tied on handling the economy and Romney has a lead over the incumbent on addressing the budget deficit.