U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney steps off his campaign plane in West Palm Beach, Florida, October 20, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
A string of national polls shows Republican challenger Mitt Romney holding on to his lead over President Obama.
The Gallup daily tracking poll shows Romney's impressive lead slipping a bit, dropping from 7 points to 6 points, with 51 percent of respondents supporting Romney, compared to 45 percent supporting Obama.
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The Rasmussen tracking poll has Romney up by 2 points, 49 percent to Obama's 47 percent.
A Politico/GWU poll also has Romney up by 2 points, 49 percent to 47 percent.
A Monmouth/SurveyUSA poll shows Romney leading by 3 points.
However, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday says the race is a tie, with both candidates at 47 percent among likely voters.
And the IBD/TIPP tracking poll actually gives Obama a 6-point lead over Romney, 48 percent to 42 percent.
That poll is the outlier here, though the huge margins Romney has had for over a week in the Gallup poll can also be considered outliers. Historically, the Gallup poll has tended to exaggerate leads, as it did in 2008 when it predicted Obama would beat John McCain by much more than he did.
Still, the 2008 Gallup poll did end up correctly picking the winner.
While these new polls are good news for Romney, he is struggling in key battleground states like Ohio, where a CBS News/Quinnipiac poll today showed Obama beating Romney by 5 points in that critical swing state.
No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.
While it is possible for Romney to do just that, it requires him to win in several swing states that currently lean toward Obama.
Still, Romney is holding on to the lead he has had in the national polls since Obama's poor performance in the first presidential debate. Before that, Obama led nationally by as much as 5 points.
The Gallup and the IDB/TIPP tracking polls both aggregate data from the last week, so they still include responses from before the second presidential debate, which polls show Obama won.
They won't be comprised entirely of post-debate data until later this week, and by then, sentiment will be responding to the final presidential debate scheduled for tonight in Boca Raton, Fla.
While conventional wisdom holds that presidential debates have little influence on the outcome of the election, this year has been very different.
The first debate gave Romney an opening, and eventually the lead, while the second slowed his ascent, grinding the race into a virtual tie.
The final debate will give each candidate a trajectory that will be difficult to sway, so whichever campaign comes out this week with the most momentum will likely be the frontrunner going into the election.
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