An averaging of polls by the website RealClearPolitics shows President Obama and Mitt Romney essentially deadlocked at 47 percent in nationwide surveys and neck-and-neck in battleground states, with 22 days left before Election Day.

The site’s averaging of polls is considered nearly the gold standard for campaign officials, pundits and just about every other election watcher because neither political party can readily dismiss the pollsters as leaning Democratic or Republican.

The averages were the results of polls taken last week.  

The seven nationwide polls were Rasmussen Tracking, ABC News/Washington Post, Gallup Tracking, IBD/TIPP Tracking, Politico/GWU/Battleground, Monmouth/SurveyUSA/Braun and Fox News.

Romney led in four polls, Obama led in two and one was tied.

“People have a lot of trust in the poll," RealClearPolitics president John McIntyre said Monday. "I think people see it as sort of the Dow Jones average.” 

Obama last month opened a small lead -- particularly in the battleground states – that closed after the Oct. 3 presidential debate in which Romney was wided credited with outperforming Obama.

The widest margin recently was Sept. 30, when Obama led 48.7 percent to Romney's 44.6 percent.

As for the top battleground states, Obama leads Romney by 48.4 percent to 47.6 percent in Virginia, and 48.3 percent to 46.1 percent in Ohio, while Romney leads 49.4 percent to Obama's 46.6 percent in Florida.

McIntrye points out the site correctly picked all 50 states except Wisconsin in the 2004 presidential race.