Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is in a technical dead heat with President Barack Obama about which of the two could more efficiently resolve the nation's economic woes, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows.
Obama and Romney each have 47 percent of voter support for their economic policies, while in general terms voter preference leans toward the Democratic incumbent with 49 percent compared with 46 percent for the former Massachusetts governor.
The survey also shows that twice the number of Obama supporters say they are "very enthusiastic" compared with those backing Romney.
The economy is the chosen battlefield for both their campaigns.
Obama has harshly criticized Romney's role as head of private equity firm Bain Capital and on Monday, from Chicago, said that his future rival could not be a good president considering what his years as a businessman really meant.
"If your main argument for how to grow the economy is 'I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,' then you're missing what this job is about," the president said.
"It doesn't mean you weren't good at private equity, but that's not what my job is as president," Obama added. "My job is to take into account everybody, not just some. My job is to make sure that the country is growing not just now, but ten years from now and 20 years from now."
The Obama campaign has launched commercials attacking Romney's record of buying up companies in trouble in order to profit from restructuring them and laying off employees.
Nonetheless, the ABC/Post survey shows that Americans are equally divided between those who think that Romney's business record is a reason to vote for him or to vote against him.
Obama - who four years ago received a record amount of campaign contributions from Wall Street - has made the defense of America's middle class his banner cause and has repeatedly attacked Romney's fortune accumulated from capital gains.
The ABC/Post study shows that 56 percent of Americans consider that a system that favors the rich is a bigger problem than government interference with the economy, one of the criticisms most used by Republicans.
The poll was taken May 17-20 among 1,004 people with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. EFE