After lagging for months at historic lows, Mitt Romney's personal popularity has advanced in the final weekend to its highest of the 2012 campaign, rivaling Barack Obama's. But Obama pushes back with greater enthusiasm among his supporters – and the race itself remains a tie.
Fifty-four percent of likely voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll express a favorable opinion of Obama overall, the most basic measure of a public figure's popularity. Yet 53 percent now see Romney favorably – a majority, remarkably, for the first time.
It's a dramatic gain for Romney, who emerged from the Republican primaries as the least popular major party candidate in polling back to 1984 and remained there up to the debates. Just 40 percent saw him favorably as recently as late August, and it was essentially no better, 44 percent, after the party conventions.