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In the latest Gallup national poll, Romney's edge has dropped to 1% (49% to 48%) with 3% undecided. In mid-October, Romney has as high as a 5% edge.
Romney's Debate-Period Surge May Have Run Its CourseSandy and Momentum
Current voting preferences mark a return to the status of the race from Oct. 1-7, when Obama and Romney were tied at 48% among likely voters. After that, Romney moved ahead in mid-October during the presidential debate period, holding a three- to five-point lead in Gallup Daily tracking shortly before superstorm Sandy devastated many areas on the East Coast Oct. 29-30. Romney's and Obama's current close positioning in the Nov. 1-4 poll was measured as the Northeast continued to recover from superstorm Sandy, and after Obama's highly visible visit to the region.
Between Oct. 22-28 and Nov. 1-4, voter support for Obama increased by six points in the East, to 58% from 52%, while it held largely steady in the three other regions. This provides further support for the possibility that Obama's support grew as a result of his response to the storm.
The poll also shows Americans giving Obama high marks for the way he dealt with the storm: 68% of likely voters approve of the way he handled "the response to Superstorm Sandy," by far his highest approval rating on any of four issues Gallup asked about in the final poll. Obama's approval rating among likely voters on the other three issues ranges from 46% on foreign affairs to 42% on the economy, and 39% on handling the situation in Libya.
The election will be decided at the state level of course, but the wide inconsistency between the Gallup national poll and various state polls gave pause for thought, until now.
This morning in 90% Chance of Obama Win; Three Things Romney Needs to Win; Election Night Coverage With Mish on National Syndicated Radio I suggested momentum had shifted to Obama and hurricane Sandy provided a reason.
The Gallup poll which arrived in my in-box at 3:30 PM suggests the same thing.
Gallup split the remaining 3% of undecideds in a roughly equal manner giving Romney a 50-49% edge. That would indeed be too close to call, except other national polls have Obama in the lead, and most show the same shift.
The Gallup Poll was taken November 1-4 but there is no reason to believe the shift towards Obama stopped then.
Last minute voters tend to break one way or another in discernible blocks and momentum suggests the break will be towards Obama.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock