Gallup daily: Romney's lead loses a point

Mitt Romney lost 1 percentage point overnight in the closely watched Gallup daily tracking poll of likely voters.

Romney now leads with 51 percent support against Obama at 45. Romney maintained his narrow lead over Obama among registered voters, 48 percent to 47.

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The survey is a rolling seven-day average through Oct. 18, so it includes two days of polling data since Tuesday night's presidential debate in New York state.

Gallup only began tracking likely voters earlier this month. On Thursday, Romney opened up a 7-point lead. It was Romney’s biggest lead yet in the survey and came less than three weeks before the election.

Gallup’s poll has received a lot of attention for falling outside the range of most other national polls.

While there’s no doubt Romney seized momentum in the race after the first presidential debate, Gallup’s daily tracking poll was one of the last to reflect the Romney bump, provoking some to speculate it is equally tardy in reflecting the subsequent stabilization of the race.

According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Romney is at 47.1 percent support and Obama at 47. The Rasmussen daily tracking poll from Friday similarly shows the candidates locked at 48, and an IBD-TIPP poll has them tied at 46.

A slew of recent swing-state polls, though, show many battleground states remain toss-ups.

While the Romney campaign is optimistic about its prospects in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina, the Obama campaign believes it is holding on to Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Ohio, Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire remain true toss-ups.

Gallup polls only survey registered voters early in the cycle, but as Election Day nears, the firm is prodding for more information from voters to determine the likelihood that a registered voter will end up casting a ballot. Many believe surveys of likely voters are more accurate than those that only survey registered voters.

However, Gallup noted that sometimes, such as in 2008, “there was only a marginal difference between the vote choices of registered voters and likely voters,” while at other times, such as in 1996, “there was a much more substantial difference.”

The Gallup poll has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.