White House race remains delicately poised

Mitt Romney at one of his presidential campaig...

Mitt Romney at one of his presidential campaign rallies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ali Imran

 

 

WASHINGTON, Oct 26 : Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has edged ahead of President Barack Obama in tracking polls as the two politicians continue their intense campaigns to win over undecided voters.

Surveys reveal that in the nine or so swing states are registering a narrow advantage for President Obama.

Ten days before November 6 election and after a series of presidential debates, Americans continue to witness one of the most closely fought White House races in recent history.

American media reports suggest Mitt Romney enjoys a 5-point lead in Florida, while Obama holds a 4-point lead in Iowa, a 3-point edge in New Hampshire and single-point advantages in Colorado and Nevada.

Nationally, a new Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll indicates the Republican hopeful winning 50 percent of likely voters for the first time in the campaign.

The poll by the two news organizations found Romney hitting 50 and the president standing at 47 percent.

But according to a Reuters / Ipsos daily tracking poll, Romney was clinging to a one percentage point lead over Democratic President Obama on Thursday, up 47 percent to 46 percent for Obama.

Obama, however, got a boost in moderate Republican leader and retired General Colin Powell’s endorsement for his second term in office.

President Obama Thursday cast his ballot early in his hometown of Chicago, in a bid to encourage supporters to vote ahead of the November 6 election, 

Meanwhile, according to the Washington Post, the 2012 election is shaping up to be more polarized along racial lines than any presidential contest since 1988, with President Obama experiencing a steep drop in support among white voters from four years ago.

At this stage in 2008, Obama trailed Republican John McCain by seven percentage points among white voters. Even in victory, Obama ended up losing white voters by 12 percentage points, according to that year’s exit poll, says the paper.

But now, Obama has a deficit of 23 percentage points, trailing Republican Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among whites, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll.

“That presents a significant hurdle for the president — and suggests that he will need to achieve even larger margins of victory among women and minorities, two important parts of the Democratic base, to win reelection,” the Post commented.

In a report, the paper also contemplates prospects in the event of Romney carrying the popular vote, but Obama regaining the presidency by winning 270 votes or more in the electoral college.

“I think it’s a 50/50 possibility — or more,” says Mark McKinnon, who was a political strategist for former president George W. Bush.

“If the election were held tomorrow, it wouldn’t just be a possibility, it would be actual,” says William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who also served as a policy adviser to former president Bill Clinton.

The Post says every modern president to be re-elected — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush — has gotten a bigger share of the vote in their second bid for office than their first, and with it, a chance to claim a mandate.

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