As President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney frantically crisscross the handful of "swing states" that'll decide the outcome of this close election, a new Gallup poll continues to show the former governor of Massachusetts slightly ahead of the president nationwide.
Romney now leads President Obama by 3 percentage points nationally, 50% to Obama's 47% among likely voters. This is unchanged from Wednesday’s daily tracking poll but it represents a narrowing of the gap between the two contenders compared to a week ago when Gallup showed Romney leading the president by as much as 7 percentage points according to a survey the Obama campaign dismissed as an "outlier."
Meanwhile, Obama retained his lead of 1 percentage point among registered voters besting his Republican opponent 48% to 47%. The poll, a rolling 7-day average through October 24, includes voters' impressions from both the second and third presidential debates in which Obama was perceived as the winner "on points" albeit by narrow margins.
Both campaigns are trying to take a decisive leap ahead of Election Day, with Obama telling his supporters to vote early to take advantage of what the campaign claims is its early voting lead (and the president leading by example by becoming the fist sitting president to vote ahead of Election Day).
Romney, on the other hand, is trying to convey a sense of momentum as he tells crowd how much the debates have "decimated" the president's "incredible shrinking campaign" and telling his swelling crowd of supporters that he's "the big change candidate" that's generating a movement away from what he says are the failed policies of the last four years.
Romney was able to cut the president's comfortable lead after the first presidential debate last October 3 in Denver where the Republican candidate was largely seen as having defeated the president by a landslide (a CNN scientific post-debate poll showed Romney as the victor with over 70% of the votes). Since then, the Republican has chipped away at the president's leads nationally, in swing states and among various demographics such as women and independent voters.