While it seems the presidential race has already been fully underway for an eternity, the holding of the respective conventions has traditionally been considered the point when the race begins in earnest.  That is when Mitt Romney makes the transition from presumptive nominee to the official candidate of the Republican party.

Going into the “start” of the Presidential contest the race is currently tied. According to a new Washington Post /ABC news poll Romney technically has a one point lead among registered voters. It is Romney 47 percent to Obama 46 percent. This is effectively unchanged since last month.

The basic dynamic of the race remains unchanged. Obama is seen as significantly more likable than Romney. An incredible 61 percent think he is the more likeable and friendly person compared to just 27 percent who say that about Romney. Obama also has a real edge on who is best able to handle social issues and women’s issues. But what apparently keeps Romney is the race is that he has the edge on the economy, 50 percent think Romney would be better at handling the economy compared to 43 percent for Obama.

The one really interesting part of the poll is that it found Romney has a tiny lead on the issue of handling Medicare: 45 percent think he would do a better job and 42 percent think Obama would. This is similar to the result of a CNN/ORC poll this weekend which found Obama and Romney tied on who would be best at Medicare.

Despite the fact that Romney has endorsed the extremely unpopular idea of turning Medicare into a voucher program, the Republican party has effectively muddied the water on the issue by talking about how Obama “stole” $700 billion from Medicare for his health care program. Medicare should be a real vulnerability for the Romney/Ryan ticket, but they have managed to fight the issue to a draw for now. There is a real potential, though, for Democrats to try to move these numbers.