Washington: President Barack Obama has edged ahead of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney in the final days of the presidential campaign, helped by his handling of Hurricane Sandy, according to a new poll.
As the two candidates criss-crossed the country in a last round of campaigning before Tuesday’s election, a survey by the Pew Research Center, one of the most reliable pollsters, showed Obama leading Romney 48 to 45 percent among likely voters.
Pew estimated that in the final tally, Obama will take 50 percent of the popular vote to 47 percent for Romney.
The modest lead for Obama marks a shift from a week ago when the two were tied on 47 percent before Sandy.
According to the Guardian, the findings are similar to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published at the weekend. The two offer the first firm evidence of the impact of Sandy on the election.
The poll came as the president’s top campaign advisers accused Romney of desperation on Sunday as they claimed the race was moving decisively in Obama's direction.
Obama is enjoying a slight edge in polls from most of the crucial swing states that will decide the outcome, the report said.
The president’s team claimed that Romney’s frantic campaign schedule reflected a sense of desperation, squeezing in a late visit to previously neglected Pennsylvania on Sunday in the search for elusive electoral college votes elsewhere.
In an interview with ABC News, David Plouffe, who organised Obama's re-election bid, expressed confidence the president will win on Tuesday, and seized on a comment by Karl Rove that Obama had benefited from superstorm Sandy, the report added.
Another Obama strategist, David Axelrod, commenting on Romney's Pennsylvania trip, said: "They understand that they''re in deep trouble. They''ve tried to expand the map because they know in states like Ohio.
“They're behind and they're not catching up at this point," he said, adding: "They understand that the traditional, or the battleground, states that we've been focusing are not working out for them."