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Romney makes gains on foreign policy issues

  • Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has gained substantial ground on Democratic incumbent Barack Obama on foreign policy issues.

    However, Obama still maintains a marginal lead, according to a poll released by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press on Thursday.

    Ahead of Monday's foreign policy debate between Obama and Romney, 47 percent of voters backed Obama and 43 percent favored Romney when asked who could do a better job on foreign policy.

    "This represents a substantial gain for Romney, who trailed Obama by 15 points on foreign policy issues in September," Pew said.

    The October 4-7 poll was carried out around three weeks after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the U.S. ambassador was killed.

    Romney has repeatedly used the issue to illustrate Obama of failed leadership.

    The poll surveyed 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 2.9 percent for adults and 3.3 percent for voters.

    In relation to dealing with China’s trade policies, Romney leads Obama 49 percent to 40 percent. Among independent voters, Romney leads 50 percent to 34 percent.

    Neither candidate had a clear advantage on issues such as Iran's nuclear program and political instability in countries like Egypt and Libya.

    Overall, after the second presidential debate released on Tuesday, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found 48 percent of registered voters believed Obama had performed better, while 33 percent preferred Romney.

    The third and final presidential debate takes place in Boca Raton, Florida.