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US presidential race heading down to the wire

By Lalit K Jha
October 27, 2012 13:32 IST
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The United States presidential election, which is just 10 days away, appears to be headed down to the wire, with opinion polls suggesting that incumbent Barack Obama's Republican rival Mitt Romney maintaining a lead over him, albeit a small one.

National tracking polls show Romney maintaining a lead over President Obama. However, incumbent Obama still carries advantage over Romney as he leads Romney in key battle ground States including the all-important Ohio.

Romney is now having a lead of five points over Obama in the Gallup's rolling daily tracking, while in RealClearPolitcs he had a lead of just 0.9 points.

In The Washington Post-ABC tracking Republican nominees lead was one point. However, in the key battle ground state of Ohio, Obama was leading by four points, according to CNN, which said that the race here is still close.

The State has 18 electoral college vote.

"Most polls at this moment suggest GOP nominee Romney is in the lead nationally, but surveys in the nine or so swing states are registering a narrow advantage for President

Obama," said The Washington Post, which a day earlier had endorsed Obama for his second term.

Mark McKinnon, who was a political strategist for former president George W Bush, told the daily that there is a 50-50 prospects of Romney carrying the popular vote, but Obama regaining the presidency by winning 270 votes or more in the electoral college.

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

The CNN reported that Barack Obama insists he's ahead but is running like the underdog, adopting a street-fighting posture and campaigning himself hoarse across the country.

Romney on the other hand seeks to make his election seem inevitable and calls Obama's campaign desperate, the news channel said.

Darrell West, the vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said that while Obama "has shifted to underdog status" Romney is playing the "role of frontrunner".

"President Obama last time ran as a candidate of change. There was no incumbent, but he was all about change. This time, Mitt Romney is all about change, promising big change on the campaign trail," said CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

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Lalit K Jha in Washington
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