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June 23, 2017

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Race to White House goes down to the wire

BRISTOW, Virginia/WASHINGTON -- Just 48 hours before Election Day, the race for the White House is tied, with both President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, receiving 48-percent support among likely votes, a new poll has found.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post survey also showed Sunday that even independents, whose decision can push one of the candidates over the top, are now evenly divided: 46 percent favor Obama and 46 percent Romney.

Even the candidates' likability ratings, where the president used to lead by a wide margin, have practically evened out. Fifty-four percent of likely voters now express a favorable opinion of Obama while 53 percent do the same about Romney.

But the candidates, according to the poll, fare differently among various social and ethnic groups.

Obama, for example, leads among women by a margin of 6 percent while Romney leads among men by 7 percent.

Whites favor Romney by a margin of 20 percent, but Obama leads by a 59-percent margin among non-whites.

Like in the 2008 election, young adults favor Obama by a 25-percent margin while seniors prefer Romney by 12 percent.

And Romney practically owns evangelical white Protestants: He leads by a 70-percent among this group.

The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The two rivals will fight crushing fatigue Sunday as they criss-cross the United States on the penultimate day of their tense White House.

Obama and Romney are both showing signs of exhaustion as they dart from swing state to swing state, trying to fire up enthusiasm among supporters and win over any last wavering voters before Tuesday's election.

His voice husky from endless rallies, Obama will fly to New Hampshire to reprise a late-night buddy act with Bill Clinton on Saturday, which saw the former president place his popular economic legacy on the younger man's shoulders.

On a grueling swing that will end in Wisconsin in the early hours of Tuesday, Obama will also travel to Florida, Colorado and Ohio on Sunday.

Romney, clearly also feeling the pace of the frenzied endgame of a bitter White House race, will be in Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.

The Republican nominee will also make a run into Pennsylvania, long seen as a safe Obama state, but which Republicans think is now in play.

Obama seemed late Saturday to come to a wistful public realization that after spending hundreds of millions of dollars, heading interminable rallies and traveling for months, his fate was no longer in his own hands.

"I'm just a prop of the campaign," Obama told a crowd of 24,000 people on a chilly night in an outdoor concert venue in Bristow, Virginia.

"The power is not with us anymore, the planning, everything we do, it doesn't matter."

"It's all up to you, it's up to the volunteers ... you have got the power. That's how democracy is supposed to be."

Clinton told the crowd that Obama had done his best with "a bad hand" and deserved to be re-elected, as, in his folksy southern way, he went about dismantling Romney's record and his ability to serve as president.

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