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U.S. presidential race in dead heat as candidates scramble

11-05-2012 12:20 BJT Special Report:2012 US Presidential Election |

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- With just two days before U.S. voters elect the country's next president, U.S. President Barack Obamaand Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romneyare neck and neck in national polls, and the race could go either way.

ESSENTIALLY TIED

Four nonpartisan, live operator surveys released on Sunday put the race in a dead heat. According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama leads Romney with 48 percent to 47 percent in support from likely voters, while a Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll showed the two candidates deadlocked at 48 percent among likely voters.

Consistent with the two polls, a Politico/George Washington University battleground tracking poll also put the two in a dead heat, with Obama and Romney each gaining 48 percent support. A CNN/ORC International showed the candidates tied at 49 percent.

A Pew Research Center survey also released Sunday indicated the president at 50 percent and Romney at 47 percent. But that's also within the survey's sampling error.

"I do think it's an incredibly close race," said John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "We have had other close elections, but often we go into the election day with a pretty good sense of who's ahead."

The race has been static ever since Romney outperformed Obama during the first presidential debate on Oct. 3. According to Fortier, as much as people talk about Romney, "it really wasn't until the first debate, that people were really able to see him next to the president, and he was able to make a great impression," that put the race in a dramatically close state.

The reason?

"Everyone knew the president already. They didn't know Mitt Romney, and that opportunity where he did well, showed himself on stage and presented himself well was the key. Since then they've been locked in a very close race," said Fortier.

SCRAMBLE FOR BATTLEGROUND STATES

Because the popular vote winner in a U.S. presidential election doesn't necessarily win the presidency, unless he or she wins the electoral college vote, one can make the argument that being tied in national polls doesn't really mean Obama and Romney are in a dead heat, especially when Obama is ahead in five out of seven such states.

According to CNN's poll of polls that calculates at least three polls for each battleground state, Obama is ahead in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado. He is almost even with Romney in Virginia, and is behind in Florida. RealClearPolitics.com's battleground state polls average showed the same results.

That trend bodes ill for Romney. The GOP standard bearer is definitely playing offensive in the last two days of his campaigning, as he holds rallies in not only Florida and Virginia where he's ahead, but also in Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania on Sunday and Monday.

Obama, on the other hand, is playing defensive, concentrating his presence in the mid-Western "firewall". He's holding seven of his nine rallies there, with three in Ohio, two in Iowa, and one each in Wisconsin and Colorado.

The candidates' diverging strategy maybe due in part to the slim lead Obama is holding in those mid-Western battlegrounds. According to Fortier, the turnout factor of the election could erase Obama's lead, making those states in play.

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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