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For the first time, Romney leads Obama in surveys

October 10, 2012 16:34 IST

With his impressive performance during last week's debates, the US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has taken a lead of less than a per cent over President Barack Obama, major national surveys have said.

Real Clear Politics, the website which maintains a track of all the major national polling, on Tuesday reported for the first time that Romney leads by a margin of 0.7 percentage points over Obama if the average of all the recent polls are taken.

While Rasmussen Tracking puts both the leaders at a virtual tie (with 48 per cent), Romney has a lead of two per cent over Obama in two polls Gallup polls and IBD / TIPP Tracking gives.

The lead increases to four per cent in the Pew Research poll.

However, the margins of all these polls come within the range of statistical error. As such experts are now saying this as a very close race.

However, the Obama Camp brushed off the poll results in the aftermath of the last week's debate.

"The one thing I will say is that we've always felt this race would be close. That's not a new approach from our end," the Obama Campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, told reporters travelling with Obama on Air Force One.

"We feel that the race and the states in play have been entirely consistent. They were a couple of weeks ago; they still are today. This is a race that is being competed every day -- about seven to nine states. That's where we're up on the air. That's where our focus is. And so I don't have any changes or updates on the strategy beyond that," Psaki said.

Meanwhile, some regional polls suggested that Romney has started narrowing the lead in some of the key battle ground States. One of them being the key battle ground state, according to a latest CNN poll.

Obama now has an advantage over Romney by four percentage point, which comes within the sampling error. Before the debate Obama had a lead of 7-10 point advantage over the former governor of Massachusetts.

American Research Group poll for Ohio released Tuesday gave Romney (48 per cent) a one per cent lead over Obama (47 per cent) among likely voters.

"Independent voters, suburban voters, and older voters are all evenly divided, indicating a close race right now," says CNN Polling director Keating Holland.

"But that's not a prediction of what will happen in November. With one in eight likely voters saying that they could change their minds between now and November, and several crucial debates still to come, there is every reason to expect the race to change in Ohio," Holland said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington, DC