Gallup poll: Romney holding 5-point lead among likely voters

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 5 points, according to Tuesday’s Gallup daily tracking poll.

Romney takes 51 percent support to Obama's 46 in the survey of likely voters. Among registered voters, Romney maintained his lead of 48 to 47 over the president.

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The survey is a rolling seven-day average through Oct. 22, so it includes six days of polling data since the second presidential debate last Tuesday night in Hempstead, N.Y., but does not include any reaction to last night’s foreign policy debate in Boca Raton, Fla.

Tuesday marks the seventh consecutive day Romney has held at least a 5-point advantage over Obama. However, the race is slightly tighter, as Romney held leads of between 6 and 7 for the previous six days.

Many, though, believe the race is much closer nationally than the Gallup daily tracking poll suggests.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll released Monday found the two candidates each with 46 percent support. An ABC News-Washington Post poll put the candidates in a statistical dead heat, with Obama’s 49 to 48 edge within the poll’s margin of error.

According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Romney is at 47.7 percent support and Obama at 47.1, although that doesn’t yet reflect Tuesday's Gallup daily tracking survey.

The race appears similarly close in the dozen or so battleground states that will determine who wins more Electoral College votes, and ultimately, the election.

Both sides on Tuesday were trumpeting what they say are advantages in the swing states, although polling shows most remain toss-ups.

Republicans are optimistic that they are in control of three key southern swing states — North Carolina, Virginia and Florida — although polls in the latter two remain tight.

“Anybody who thinks those states are in the bag is half in the bag themselves,” Obama adviser David Axelrod said of those three states in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. 

“We have added millions to TV spending in each of these states. We are doubling down. We are not pulling back at all. We believe that Florida is an incredibly competitive state. North Carolina is a competitive state. Virginia is a competitive state. These are states Republicans were expecting to have wrapped up and they’re battling to hold on to them,” Axelrod said.

A Rasmussen poll puts Romney up 5 in Florida at 51-46, but two other surveys give him a narrower lead, with Fox News putting Romney up 48-45 and a survey from Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling (PPP) pegging Romney up 1 at 48-47.

In Virginia, Rasmussen shows Romney up 3, with an ARG poll putting the GOP nominee up 1.

Democrats, meanwhile, are confident Obama will hold on to Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But last week vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan campaigned in Pittsburgh, and the Romney campaign has suggested going on the offensive in Pennsylvania. Republicans have also cited the voter registration drive and infrastructure put in place during the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election earlier this year, which they expect will buoy their chances.

That leaves Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado and Ohio — all of which are presently toss-ups. The Buckeye State is by far the biggest electoral prize of the remaining states.

Obama has led in Ohio throughout this cycle, and a Quinnipiac-CBS News poll released Monday shows the president ahead by 5. But a PPP survey puts Obama up 1, with Suffolk finding the presidential contenders in a dead heat. The RCP average of polls shows Obama only up by 1.9 percentage points in the battleground state.

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