Washington: US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney are in a virtual tie for the popular vote, but the incumbent is holding a narrow lead in the key battle ground States which would finally determine results of the November 6 presidential elections.
"On the final weekend of a fiercely fought presidential campaign, President Obama holds a narrow advantage over Mitt Romney in the crucial contest for the electoral votes needed to win the White House, even as national polls continue to show the candidates in a virtual tie for the popular vote," The Washington Post said today.
The latest Washington Post/ABC News polls said Obama and Romney are tied at 48 per cent support from likely voters.
Both the presidential candidates are also deadlocked among independent voters, with each receiving 46 per cent support.
While Romney leads by seven points among men, Obama has a six-point advantage with female voters, the daily said.
According to RealClearPolitics`s closely watched average of national polls, Obama has a slight edge of point one percentage over Romney.
"President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney enter the final sprint before Election Day essentially deadlocked nationally in what looks set to be one of the closest presidential elections in US history," The Wall Street Journal said.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of likely voters finds Obama leading his rival by a nose, 48 per cent to 47 per cent, as the two men crisscross the country to rally supporters in the states most likely to decide the outcome.
The race among the two presidential candidates remain equally divided and close in many cases in the key battle ground States numbering about 10, a series of latest polls released said.
Presidential elections in the US are held under which each State is worth a certain number of electoral votes based on population.
Under this Electoral College System, there are a total of 538 electoral votes available, meaning 270 are required to win.
According to Des Moines Register, Obama has a five point lead over Romney in Iowa which has six Electoral College votes.
The newspaper had recently endorsed Romney.
The two candidates are now tied up in Pennsylvania, a State in which Obama had a considerable lead.
According to Pittsburgh Tribune, Pennsylvania remains too close to call with the two tied at 47 per cent each.
The State has 20 Electoral College votes.
In Florida, which has 29 Electoral College votes, Romney has a lead of six percentage point, The Tampa Bay Tribune said releasing its latest poll results.
While Obama is ahead of Romney by eight points in
Minnesota, according to Democratic pollster PPP, but he has a slender lead of one point over Romney in this pro-Democratic State according to a poll taken by the conservative American Future Fund.
Minnesota has 10 Electoral College votes. In the critical battle ground state of Ohio, having 18 Electoral College Votes, Obama has a lead of just two percentage point (within the sampling error)? but poses a great threat to the US President, the popular Columbus dispatch said as it released its latest poll results.
"The `Ohio firewall` precariously stands for President Barack Obama, but a strong Republican turnout could enable Mitt Romney to tear it down on Election Day," the daily reported.
"Ohio remains the consensus top battlefield in the 2012 presidential election, and the campaigns are showing it: Both candidates and both running mates are here today, and three of the four are coming back on Monday.
That will make 83 visits by presidential candidates to Ohio this year, a record at least in modern history," said the Columbus Dispatch.
The two candidates are also tied up in New Hampshire, which has just four Electoral College Votes, but could count to be very crucial at a time of a close race.
The University of New Hampshire Survey said that both the candidates are tied at 47 per cent each. It is now being considered a battle ground State. Obama and Romney are also tied in Michigan, with 16 Electoral College votes, with the latter having a slight edge, as per a latest poll by WJBK Fox.
Romney was born in Michigan. But the US President holds a double digit lead in Massachusetts, where he was the Governor. The State has 11 Electoral College Votes.
According to the latest tally by RealClearPolitics, Obama has 201 Electoral College Votes, while Romney has 191 so far.
The two candidates are fighting it out for as many as 146 Electoral College Votes in these 10 battle ground States.