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Romney makes gains in battleground, national polls

 

From Ohio to Florida to Nevada and beyond, the presidential race is tightening up as polls show voters giving Mitt Romney a second look after last week's debate performance. 

The latest swing state poll, out of Nevada, shows Romney gaining in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's backyard. The SurveyUSA poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 8NewsNow showed President Obama leading by 1 point, 47-46 percent. 

Another survey in New Hampshire showed Romney closing a 15-point deficit and pulling within 6 points of Obama. The WMUR Granite State Poll still showed Obama in the lead, but it marked a significant gain for Romney over the course of just one week. 

A rapid-fire succession of state and national polls showed a similar trend. 

In a national Gallup poll released Tuesday, Romney was leading 49-47 percent among likely voters. A Reuters-Ipsos national poll showed the candidates tied. 

The RealClearPolitics average of polling now shows Romney leading by less than 1 percentage point in Florida, and Obama leading by the same airtight margin in Ohio. Obama was well ahead in those states just days ago. 

Further, Romney's post-debate surge appears to have all but wiped out Obama's once double-digit lead among women voters. 

A Pew Research Center survey released Monday depicted a remarkable swing in the numbers, with Romney pulling even among women in polling late last week. In September, the same polling outfit showed Obama leading by 18 points among women. 

Among all likely voters surveyed, Romney climbed from an 8-point deficit last month to a 4-point lead. 

There's little question that his debate performance has played a role. A separate Gallup survey showed registered voters deemed Romney the winner by 72-20 percent, marking the biggest debate victory in Gallup's recorded history.  

The Pew poll showed a similarly big victory for Romney in the debate, and it appeared to translate into gains among several groups of voters. The Oct. 4-7 survey of 1,112 likely voters showed Romney leading 49-45 percent overall. 

Among all registered voters surveyed, the two candidates also were tied. 

With Romney making gains both nationally and in the swing states, he and President Obama visited the battleground of Ohio Tuesday to press their case. 

Romney has tried to broaden his message with the election now just four weeks away, delivering a major foreign policy speech Monday in Virginia ahead of the final two debates that will deal more with overseas affairs. 

A vice presidential debate is set for this Thursday. 

An Obama campaign official tried to downplay the results of the latest Pew poll. 

"The state of the race is what it has been, which is a close and competitive race in key states with a slight lean toward the president," the official said. 

But the Pew poll showed the trendlines working in Romney's favor, at least for now. 

His favorable rating hit 50 percent for the first time in that survey, while Obama's fell from 55 to 49 percent. 

The poll also showed voters putting more faith in Romney on issues ranging from the economy to the budget deficit. The two are even, at 44 percent each, on the question of who is the stronger leader. Obama led on that question by 13 points last month.

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