Obama inches ahead

US President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney remain just about tied in the race for the White House with razor-thin margins in four key swing states, according to a Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll.

Ferrell pulls out all the stops to get voters behind Obama Ferrell pulls out all the stops to get voters behind Obama
Courts might have the last say Courts might have the last say

A day before the election, the men are neck and neck in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado, the poll showed.

Nationally, the electorate is divided. Of likely voters polled, 47% said they would back Obama, 46% Romney.

The results fall within the polls’ credibility interval, a tool used to account for statistical variation in internet-based polls.

The two men have been locked in a tight race for weeks. Both were doing final campaign swings at the weekend, trying to sway a small group of voters still undecided and to encourage their supporters to go to the polls.

A handful of states that traditionally swing between voting for Republican and Democratic presidential candidates will determine who wins the White House. All of them are close.

In one of the biggest prizes of the election, Ohio, Obama has a very slight lead over Romney, 46% to 45%, among likely voters, the poll showed.

In Florida, another big prize, they are tied at 47%.

In Virginia, Obama leads Romney 48% to 45% among likely voters. In Colorado, Romney leads Obama 47% to 45%.

“It’s really going to come down to the wire,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark, adding that Obama still had a better likelihood of winning the 270 state electoral votes needed to secure victory.

But, with the data tight in the swing states, she added: “I don’t think we can count any of them as in the bag yet.

“The electoral map does favour Obama – it’s just that it’s so on a razor’s edge.”

The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval, which in the case of the national poll is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for likely voters.

OBAMA

OBAMA CAMPAIGN LOWS

His first TV debate performance was timid, distracted and hollow and could cost him the election.

Saying in one interview that “you can’t change Washington from the inside”. Critics pointed out that if he couldn’t change it from the inside, there was little point in his being the president.

The administration has changed its story about the fatal attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, giving the impression of a cover-up, even if one hasn’t been proved.

OBAMA CAMPAIGN HIGHS

A sure-footed performance before, and after, Hurricane Sandy – he was accompanied at one stage by Chris Christie, the Romney-supporting governor of New Jersey – reminded the nation that Obama is the man in charge.

Obama won, albeit narrowly, the second and third TV debates, showing his foreign policy experience in the latter and getting Romney to agree with him much of the time.

The president picked up the predictable celebrity endorsements but was also boosted by the thumbs-up from retired General Colin Powell and Michael Bloomberg, the Republican mayor of New York.

ROMNEY

ROMNEY CAMPAIGN LOWS

His secretly recorded comments that 47% of Americans possessed a “victim” mentality and would automatically vote for Obama.

Just before visiting London for the Olympics opening ceremony, Romney questioned the city’s readiness for the Games, prompting a public dressing-down by London mayor Boris Johnson.

Giving Clint Eastwood a prime speaking slot at the Republican convention without vetting what he was going to say. The star addressed an imaginary Obama, to widespread bemusement.

ROMNEY CAMPAIGN HIGHS

In the first TV debate, in Denver on October 3, Romney went from a near also-ran to a genuine contender. Confident, forceful and succinct, he at last seemed to be presidential material.

Picking staunch fiscal conservative and Minnesota congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate in August played well with Republican core voters who doubted Romney was a true believer.

His heartfelt testimony about his long and loving marriage, and faith in God, helped humanise an often robotic candidate. – Sunday Telegraph