After two debates, numerous visits and millions of dollars spent on advertising, Florida's electoral votes are still up for grabs.
The poll by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling shows the former Massachusetts governor with 48 percent of the vote, Obama with 47 percent and 4 percent of voters still undecided. The poll, which was conducted Wednesday and Thursday after Tuesday night's second debate, also has a plus-minus margin of error of 4 percent.
"Looks like it's going to be another nail-biter," said Kevin Wagner, an associate professor in the political science department at Florida Atlantic University. "The race is a statistical tie that's probably going to come down to turnout, to which candidate gets his people to the polls just a little bit better than his opponent."
And it could be a significant turnout, with 80 percent of the survey respondent saying they were "very enthusiastic" about the presidential election and 13 percent saying they were "somewhat enthusiastic."
"Both sides are pumped up," said Jim Williams, a Public Policy Polling analyst, "and it's no surprise that partisanship is going to play such an important role (in the race). America is very divided, and Florida is divided as well. The two big questions are: Who's going to bring out more of their voters? And who is going to win over more of the independent vote?"
Like the overall race, the fight for independents is a virtual dead heat, with 47 percent lined up behind Obama and 46 percent going for Romney, according to the survey.
"Even in a state as big as Florida," Williams said, "the ground game — making voter contact and knocking on doors — is going to have to be effective in order to win."
The survey didn't differentiate Treasure Coast voters, but in a similar testing conducted by Public Policy Polling in the 18th Congressional District, which includes Martin, St. Lucie and northern Palm Beach counties, Romney bested Obama 50 percent to 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided.
Party leaders on the Treasure Coast say they've got their ground troops in order.
"I've never seen such enthusiasm at Republican headquarters as I've seen this year," said Tom Lockwood, chairman of the Indian River County Republican Executive Committee. "We do campaigns well, and we will deliver. ... The numbers here in Indian River County will definitely be different from those in that poll. We're a very strong Republican county, and the Romney-Ryan ticket is going to do extremely well here."
Celeste Bush, chairwoman of the St. Lucie County Democratic Executive Committee, said people have been volunteering at Obama campaign headquarters "because they're worried about their future and their children's future. We're working hard to get more people motivated, especially people who will vote for Obama."
Wagner said the Obama campaign "has had a lot of people on the ground in Florida for a long time. The Romney camp hasn't had quite the same operation for as long, but they're catching up."
Not surprisingly, the economy is the issue most important to voters, with 51 percent of respondents ranking it in the top spot.
The importance of the economy on the election crossed all party, gender and ethnic categories.
Romney convinced 17 percent of Democratic respondents and 54 percent of independents that he'd do a better job fixing the economy. Only 12 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of independents are convinced Obama has the better economic plan.
"The president was handed an unbelievable deficit, two unfunded wars, a Wall Street on the brink of ruin and a bankrupt economy," Bush said. "There's no quick fix for all of that. ... The reality is that every month the economy is growing and we're getting jobs back. The deregulation that the Republicans want to do hasn't done anything but make the rich richer."
Wagner said to "give the Romney campaign some credit. He's done a good job of positioning himself as a fix-it guy when it comes to the economy, and not just in this poll but in others as well."
Romney won the white vote with 57 percent to Obama's 38 percent and edged past the incumbent among Hispanics, 49 percent to 46 percent.
Williams said Romney's lead among Hispanic voters "can be chalked up to the South Florida Hispanic community, especially in the Miami area where they tend to vote more Republican."
Hispanics, said Susan Auld, chairwoman of the Martin County Republican Executive Committee, "came to this country looking for opportunities for themselves and their children. And with