Gallup finds majority believe Obama will win

A majority believe President Obama will defeat Mitt Romney and secure a second term in the White House, a Gallup poll found Wednesday.

According to the survey, 54 percent said they thought Obama will win, 34 percent believe Romney will win, and 11 percent had no opinion.

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Those numbers have been fairly stable throughout the cycle, with Obama peaking in late August at 58 to 36 percent over Romney.

The numbers contrast with Gallup’s results of who likely voters will support in the election. In its most recent poll, 51 percent of likely voters said they would support Romney, compared to 46 percent who said they would support Obama.

When broken down by party, Democrats are more confident in their candidate than Republicans are in theirs. Eighty-six percent of Democrats said they believed Obama would win, compared to 71 percent of Republicans who said Romney. Among independents, 52 percent said Obama and 32 percent said Romney.

Americans surveyed in the Gallup poll have predicted the winner of the popular vote in the last four elections.

The Gallup survey was conducted on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, before Hurricane Sandy derailed Gallup’s daily tracking polls.

Polls suggest a tight race less than a week from Election Day, and Romney has maintained an edge of about 1 percentage point over Obama in national polls for the last three weeks. The RealClearPolitics average of polls now has Romney with 47.9 percent and Obama with 47.1 percent.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Romney up by 1 point, the latest CBS News/New York Times poll shows Obama up 1 point, and the latest Pew Research poll shows the candidates tied at 47 percent.

Only two of the dozens of national polls released in October have shown either candidate hitting the 50 percent mark.

The Romney campaign is hoping its slim lead in the national polls is a sign Obama is bleeding support across the board, and gives them an opening to broaden the battlefield to several additional states.

Romney’s campaign notes that some polls show a close race in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Obama was previously considered to have a lock on victory. The Obama campaign in recent days has sent Vice President Biden to Pennsylvania and former President Clinton to Minnesota to shore up the states.

Obama’s campaign argues the president leads or is tied in every battleground state, and it accuses the Romney campaign of “desperately looking” for a new path to 270 electoral votes.

Republicans had been hopeful Romney’s momentum following his overwhelming victory in the first presidential debate would propel him to a trifecta of victories in the Southern battleground states of Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.

However, Obama has closed the gap in Florida and Virginia, and the Obama campaign contends Romney has failed to close the deal in North Carolina.

A Quinnipiac survey released Wednesday showed Obama ahead 49 to 47 percent in Virginia, where he has pulled to within half a point of Romney in the RCP average of polls. And in Florida, another Quinnipiac survey released Wednesday showed Obama ahead 48 to 47 percent. Romney leads by 1 in the Sunshine State, according to the RCP average.

A flurry of other swing state polls released Wednesday also had positive news for the president. Obama seems to be holding his lead in Wisconsin, where a Public Policy Polling survey showed him up 5, and Pennsylvania, where he has maintained a 5-point lead in the RCP average of polls.

A Detroit News poll released Wednesday, however, showed Obama up by only 3 percentage points in Michigan. The two sides have fought over the auto bailout in contending for the state, which has gone with the Democratic candidate since 1988.

In Ohio, a Quinnipiac survey released Wednesday showed Obama ahead 50 to 45 percent, though other surveys have suggested a closer race. The RCP average gives Obama a 2-percentage-point lead.