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They were inclined to side with Mr. Romney, who charged that Mr. Obama has overseen a drop in oil and gas production on federal lands, by a 29 percent to 21 percent margin, though another 31 percent said both are partially correct.

On the key issue of Mr. Romney’s tax plan, however, voters sided with the president, who said the Republican’s math doesn’t add up, by a 49 percent to 41 percent margin.

In the previous poll by The Times/Zogby taken two weeks ago, voters were evenly split on that question, 44 percent to 44 percent.

Mr. Romney has proposed reducing all tax rates by 20 percent, including those at the highest income-tax brackets, but said he would eliminate some tax loopholes and deductions to recover the money. Under his plan, he said, the top 5 percent of taxpayers would continue to pay 60 percent of all income taxes.

Mr. Obama has taken to calling the plan a “sketchy deal,” and campaigning on Saturday in St. Augustine, Fla., Vice President Joseph R. Biden said there aren’t enough ways for Mr. Romney to make his plan work.

“There aren’t enough loopholes,” Mr. Biden said, adding that Mr. Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, have refused to give any details about their plan.

Republicans say the only way to close the deficit is to cut spending and expand the economy to produce more revenue — not to raise taxes.

“President Obama has only said that he wants to tax his way out of it,” Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

The Times/Zogby Poll of 800 likely voters was taken Oct. 18-20 and was based on live telephone interviews. It includes leaners — those who said they weren’t sure about their choice but were leaning toward one candidate or the other. The survey has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.