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Poll: Romney gains ground on president


(FOX 25 / – New poll numbers show Mitt Romney did get a boost from his presidential debate performance.

A poll done by the Pew Research Center shows Romney with a four point lead over President Barack Obama, 49 percent to 45 percent.

Last month that same poll showed Obama with an eight point advantage.

A Gallup daily tracking poll also showed Romney got a boost after his strong debate performance, but that the president improved after news that the unemployment rate had dropped to 7.8 percent. Gallup says the president leads Romney 50 to 45 percent in the seven day rolling average.

Earlier on Monday, Romney took aim at the president on foreign policy, arguing that America needs stronger leadership, especially in the Middle East.

During a speech at the Virginia Military Institute, Romney said, "Hope is not a strategy," and zeroed in on the president's relationship with Israel, the threat of nuclear weapons in Iran, and the deadly attack in Libya that killed four people, including a Winchester native.

"I want to be very clear. The blame for the murder of our people in Libya, and the attacks on our embassies in so many other countries, lies solely with those who carried them out. No one else. But it is the responsibility of our president to use America's great power to shape history, not to lead from behind," Romney said.

Former Republican Congressman and Massachusetts Republican Party Deputy Chairman Peter Blute said Romney needs to keep up the pressure.

"He really has seen an opening in the ability to criticize the Obama administration," Blute said. "Romney's clearly on a roll. He needs to have other good debate performances and perhaps have a draw with the president because I'm sure the president will be much more focused in the next debate."

Democrats welcome it.

The Obama campaign dismissed Romney's speech as a rehashed attempt to fix past blunders. The campaign released a television ad pointing to Romney's "gaffe-filled" overseas trip, and calling Romney "reckless and amateurish" on foreign policy questions.

In Massachusetts, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren also released new television ads of her own. It comes after Sen. Scott Brown released ads criticizing Warren as a "hired gun" for Travelers Insurance. The Brown campaign says she defended the company against asbestos poisoning settlements.

Both camps are also targeting each other on taxes with Brown releasing a new ad showing how Warren's tax plan would kill jobs.

Both Brown and Warren support extending the Bush-era tax cuts for families who earn less than $250,000 a year. Brown also wants to extend it for Americans in all tax brackets. Warren backs the Buffet Rule that would force millionaires to pay 30 percent of their income in taxes, a measure that Brown opposes.