Gallup poll: Romney lead back up to 7 points

Mitt Romney is back up by 7 points over President Obama, according to Gallup’s daily tracking survey released Sunday.

Romney leads with 52 percent support against Obama at 45 among likely voters, matching his biggest lead of the cycle. Romney leads Obama 49 to 46 among registered voters.

The survey is a rolling seven-day average through Oct. 20, so it includes four days of polling data since Tuesday night's presidential debate in New York state.

Gallup only began tracking likely voters earlier this month, and the survey has received much 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 on Oct. 3, 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, Obama is at 47.1 percent support and Romney at 46.9.  In addition to including Gallup’s 7-point lead for Romney, that average includes an IBD-TIPP poll that shows Obama up by 6. 

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.

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