Mitt Romney edges President Obama in Gallup’s daily tracking poll, but the race is markedly tighter than it was when Hurricane Sandy forced Gallup to suspend its polling operations last week.
Romney takes 49 percent support over Obama's 48 percent in the poll of likely voters. The survey was conducted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 4 and has a 2 percent margin of error. Romney led the same poll 51 to 46 percent on Oct. 28, the final day Gallup polled ahead of the storm.
Romney held a small but steady lead over Obama nationally throughout most of October, but late in the month the polls tightened, and the president finally caught Romney in the RealClearPolitics average of polls last week. Obama now leads 48.5 to 48.1 percent nationally, according to the RCP average.
Gallup's poll had been receiving a lot of attention, as Romney’s lead among likely voters had been outsized in comparison to other polls. For nine out of the last 12 days before it suspended polling, Romney led Obama by between 5 and 7 points in the poll. Most other national polls over that time reflected a considerably closer race. Every national poll released in November shows the candidates tied or within 1 point of each other nationally, with the exception of a Pew Research survey that showed Obama with a 3-point lead.
A CNN-ORC poll released Monday showed the candidates tied at 49 percent, while a Rasmussen Reports survey showed Romney ahead 49 to 48 percent.
Still, Obama heads into Election Day with an apparent small advantage in the battleground states that will be critical in determining the outcome of the election. Romney’s path to 270 electoral votes becomes unlikely if he loses Ohio, and Obama presently has a 3-point lead in the Buckeye State, according to the RCP average.