WASHINGTON – Fighting a swell of economic anxiety, President Obama has lost much of the narrow lead he held just a month ago over Mitt Romney and the two now are locked in a virtually even race for the White House, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

The survey also found a majority of Americans disapproving of how the Democratic president is handling a national economy that fewer people think is improving.

Less than five months before the election, 47 percent say they will vote for the president and 44 percent for Romney, a difference that is not statistically significant.

The poll also shows that Romney has recovered from a bruising Republican primary, with more of his supporters saying they are certain to vote for him now.

The economy remains Obama’s top liability. Only 3 out of 10 adults say the country is headed in the right direction and 55 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy, the highest level detected in AP-GfK polls this year. 

Yet, in a measure of Romney’s own vulnerabilities, even some voters who say they support Romney believe the president will still be re-elected. Of all adults polled, 56 percent believe Obama will win a second term. And despite three months of declining job creation that have left the public increasingly glum, Romney has not managed to seize the economic issue from the president, with registered voters split virtually evenly on whether Romney or Obama would do a better job improving it.

The Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted June 14-18 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications.