Gallup rated Obama and Romney with its "scalometer," which asks poll respondents to rate public figures on a 10-point scale from plus-5 to minus-5. Gallup has used the question since 1956.
The poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday, before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
While 62 percent of those questioned had a favorable view of Obama, Romney's favorable rating was 55, Gallup said. Obama's score dipped to 60 among registered voters, while Romney's rose to 56.
Obama's "scalometer" score was about the same as it has been throughout his presidency. This was Gallup's first time asking about Romney.
Gallup said that the candidate with the higher favorable rating tends to win the election. But it said in 1992, businessman and third-party candidate Ross Perot scored higher than the winner, Bill Clinton, or then President George H.W. Bush. In 2008, Obama and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tied on their scores, but Obama won the election handily.
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