Voter confidence in Mitt Romney's ability to fix the economy has slipped over the last month, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday, erasing his edge over President Barack Obama.
Forty-eight percent of voters said Obama would do a better job improving economic conditions, compared to 42 percent for Romney. That's a reversal from last month, when polling showed Romney leading Obama 49 percent to 41 percent.
But the difference remains far less stark than in the 2008 race, when Obama regularly held about a 20-point edge against Republican rival John McCain on his ability to improve economic conditions.
Romney -- who criticized the president over last week's disappointing jobs report -- has a slim four-point lead on improving the jobs situation. He also holds a 14-point edge over Obama on reducing the budget deficit. Obama was favored on most of the other issues polled, including health care, foreign policy and anti-terrorism.
As other polls have shown, both the jobs report and the Supreme Court health care ruling have done little to change the shape of the race, or even to sway individual blocs of voters. Obama has a 50 percent to 43 percent margin over Romney nationwide in the poll, compared to 50 percent to 46 percent last month. Among independent voters, and in key battleground states, voter preference remained similarly stable.
Romney continues to hold an edge in voter engagement, with 70 percent of his supporters saying they've given the election a lot of thought, compared to 62 percent of Obama's supporters.
The Pew poll used live telephone interviews to survey 2,373 registered voters nationwide from June 28 to July 29 and had a 2.3 percent margin of error. Pew tends to show Obama slightly outperforming the overall trendline as measured by HuffPost pollster.
Below, a slideshow of Romney's 2012 campaign ads: