The CNN/ORC International Poll found 45 percent believe Obama understands the economy better and 45 percent believe the same of Romney, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
Asked to predict the future, one-fifth said the economy will remain in a slump no matter who wins and one-fifth said it will improve either way. About 31 percent said the economy will improve if Romney wins and 28 percent that it will do so if Obama remains in office.
Overall, the poll suggested the race will be a tight one, with 49 percent saying they plan to vote for Obama and 46 percent Romney.
The president's biggest advantage is that more than 60 percent of those planning to vote for him say they are strong supporters, while only 47 percent of Romney's following show similar enthusiasm.
Almost half, 48 percent, said they plan to vote for a Democrat for Congress, while 45 percent would go Republican.
ORC International surveyed 1,009 adults, 895 of them registered voters, by telephone May 29-May 31. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.