Fox News poll of likely voters: Romney 45, Obama 44

Decent sample too: D+4, although I think actual turnout on election day might be a smidge narrower than that.

Romney leads by nine points among seniors and by 10 points among independents, and Romney voters are 11 points more likely to be “extremely” interested in the election than Obama supporters and 10 points more likely to say it’s “extremely” important that their candidate wins. Second look at optimism?

About one voter in ten is undecided or says they’ll vote for someone other than Obama and Romney. Among just those voters, 55 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing and only 17 percent think the country has changed for the better in the last four years.

Among undecided voters Romney is viewed more negatively than positively by 28 percentage points, while Obama is viewed more negatively by 12 points…

On the big issue of last week, slightly more voters trust the Democratic ticket (by three points) to do a better job protecting Medicare and ensuring it’s there for future generations.

When asked who they trust to improve the economy and create jobs, voters favor the Republican ticket by two points — a surprisingly slim margin in light of President Obama’s negative ratings on the issue.

The good news is that the remaining undecideds out there take a dim view of The One’s presidency — unsurprisingly, or else they wouldn’t be undecided, right? The bad news is that Romney isn’t closing the deal yet. His favorable rating among them is gruesome, and among the overall electorate that’s a depressingly thin lead on the economy. But maybe that’s out of his hands: Some chunk of voters is surely still reserving judgment on O’s economic performance, waiting to see if there are any signs of real growth before election day. If he gets two more bad jobs reports, Romney’s margin on that question will open without him needing to utter a word.

As for Medicare, see why I said in the last post that it bears watching seniors vs. near-seniors?

It’s a 10-point swing from ages 55-64 to ages 65 and up. The only reason Obama leads on the Medicare question overall is because of the insanity of the under-35 group, a lower-turnout demographic. In fact, here’s the age breakdown on the question, “How important is it to you that the presidential candidate you are supporting win the election?”

Older, pro-Republican voters (as noted above, Romney leads by nine among seniors) are considerably more motivated than younger, pro-Obama ones (O leads by 13 among voters under age 35). Makes me wonder what sort of desperate youth pander The One might have waiting for September. Student-loan forgiveness, here we come!

One more data point for you. The first column is “fair,” the second “unfair”:

I’m not sure how much to take from that question. You could phrase the Democrats’ attacks on Ryan in a million different ways and get a million different poll numbers depending upon which pejorative adjectives you use specifically. But as a very broad gauge of how well their Mediscare attacks are working, this seems encouraging.

Via the Corner, Krauthammer’s starting to feel optimistic too.