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As the steady trickle of uncomfortable news for the Obama campaign continues and one of its more prominent members shows who's really out of touch, a new poll shows Mitt Romney significantly cutting into the president's advantage regarding his signature issue.
The poll also indicates that Team Romney's strict focus on the economy is the correct one.
The October Health Tracking Poll finds, one week before the presidential election, the economy remains the primary concern on voter' minds, but health policy issues remain in the mix.
Even the L.A. Times can't spin the numbers.
More likely voters still trust Obama to do a better job than his Republican challenger in handling the Medicare and Medicaid programs, lowering healthcare costs and determining the future of the healthcare law he signed in 2010.
But Romney has cut the president’s lead in half on most issues and nearly eliminated it entirely on Medicare, the Kaiser survey found, compared with a similar poll taken in September.
On the question of determining the of future Medicare, 46% of likely voters said they trust Obama to do a better job, compared with 41% who trust Romney. In September, the president held a 52%-to-36% advantage.
Despite the media generally declaring President Obama the hands-down winner of the last two debates, Mitt Romney has consistently held an advantage on economic issues, which fifty-two percent of the poll respondents rated as "extremely important".
The fact that what was perceived as his greatest disadvantage with the voters shows such improvement after the debates cannot be comfortable news at the Obama For America headquarters.
The Times article notes that the president still holds an advantage when it comes to "determining the future of the Affordable Care Act", which would be an important point if it were wildly popular. The poll, however, shows that voters don't see Obamacare as the godsend the administration would have you believe it is.
Meanwhile, the public's views on the Affordable Care Act continue to be deeply divided, with 38 percent of Americans having a favorable view of the law and 43 percent an unfavorable one.
There had been a slight bump in favorability for the law in the September poll which was erased, again, after the debates.
Taken individually and contrasted with the national polling averages, the trends favorable to Romney may not seem like much. When looked at as a whole, the situation makes the polling averages seem as if they might be obliterated on election day. It's not a crystal ball, but it is very notable that the president was not able to solidify or increase his lead on the issue upon which he's staked most of his presidency.