Romney catching up, Obama still ahead in swing states



Washington: Even as a flurry of new polls indicated a neck and neck race nationally President Barack Obama maintained a narrow lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the swing states that could help him win.

Obama also remains roughly tied in the polls in two other states, Colorado and Virginia, that could serve as second lines of defence for him if he were to lose a state like Ohio, according to FiveThirtyEight, an influential poll watching blog in the New York Times.

But according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, massive outreach efforts by the Obama and Romney campaigns are shaking things up in critical swing states

Overall, the national contest has tipped back to 49 percent for Romney and 48 percent for President Obama, the Post said noting it was not a significant shift from Thursday's 50 to 47 percent edge for Romney, and a return to the numbers from the previous two days.

Romney continues to hold the advantage when it comes to handling the economy, benefit from a campaign-high 60 percent support from white voters and has a bulging, 20-point advantage among political independents, according to the Post poll.

Obama counters with 82 percent support from non-whites, and is buoyed because the electorate is four percentage points more Democratic than Republican, it said.

The gap between the parties is an even more slender two percentage points when looking at the party "leanings" of independents and other non-partisans, the poll noted.

Meanwhile, a CNN/ORC International survey indicated the race for Ohio, arguably the most important battleground state remains very close.

Obama holds a four point advantage over Romney in the contest for Ohio's much fought over 18 electoral votes with 50 percent of likely voters backing the president and 46 percent supporting the former Massachusetts governor.

Obama's four point advantage is within the survey's sampling error. The survey was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, entirely after Monday's final presidential debate.

Surveys by other organizations conducted last month, before the first debate, had Obama ahead of Romney by seven to 10 points.

IANS