As President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney prepare to face-off in the third and final presidential debate, a new poll puts the pair neck-and-neck in their race for the White House.
The candidates were tied among likely voters with 47% each, according to the survey for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.
Mr Obama was leading Mr Romney 49% to 44% among the wider pool of all registered voters, but the poll also showed improved voter confidence in Mr Romney.
A total of 47% of registered voters said they were either optimistic and confident, or satisfied and hopeful, that Mr Romney would do a good job as president. The figure marks a five-point increase since the last NBC/WSJ poll.
Mr Obama's rating stood unchanged at 50% on this question.
In the previous NBC/WSJ poll, conducted before the debate season began, the president held a three-point lead over his Republican challenger - 49% to 46%.
The final 90-minute debate in Florida represents the candidates' last chance to directly confront one another before an audience of millions of Americans.
Mr Romney has been hitting Mr Obama hard on the administration's uncertain explanations about what happened in last month's attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya when militants killed four Americans, including US ambassador Chris Stevens.
Iran-Israel tensions, China, terrorism and the war in Afghanistan are all subjects expected to come up in the debate which will be moderated by CBS News' Bob Schieffer.
Mr Romney appears more comfortable addressing economic problems and has stumbled at times on international issues. His foreign tour last summer was widely panned.
However, a Pew Research Centre poll suggests Mr Obama's advantage on foreign policy has shrunk to just four points over Romney, after being up 15 points last month.
The candidates are effectively fighting to win nine battleground states, including Ohio and Florida.