Romney extends lead over Obama in Gallup daily tracking poll

Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 5 points nationally, according to the closely watched Gallup daily tracking poll.

Romney takes 51 percent to Obama’s 46 in the poll of likely voters, released Friday. Romney picked up a point and Obama lost a point from the same poll on Thursday, which Romney led 50 to 47.

{mosads}The GOP nominee has also pulled even with Obama among registered voters, 48 to 48, after trailing by 1 point on Thursday.

The survey is a rolling seven-day average through Oct. 25, so it completely encapsulates polling data since the second presidential debate last Tuesday night, Oct. 16, in Hempstead, N.Y., but includes only three days of reaction to Monday night’s foreign-policy debate in Boca Raton, Fla.

Gallup’s poll has received a lot of attention, as Romney’s lead among likely voters had been outsized in comparison to other polls. For most of the last week, Romney led Obama by between 5 and 7 points in the poll.

According to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Romney leads Obama by less than 1 percentage point, 47.8 to 47.1

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Thursday also shows Romney in the lead but by a much narrower margin: 49 percent to Obama’s 48.

Gallup did have some good news for Democrats on Friday, saying that the composition of the electorate by race, age and gender in 2012 will likely mirror that of 2008. The survey said women will out-vote men by 4 points, and that blacks, Hispanics and young voters will turn out the same as they did in 2008. All of those groups lean Democratic, and their historic 2008 turnout helped propel Obama into the White House.

Still, Gallup predicted a greater share of the electorate would identify as Republican. In 2008, Democrats enjoyed a 10-point advantage over Republicans in party identification, with 39 percent saying they were Democrats, 31 Independent and 29 Republican. In 2012, Gallup is estimating the breakdown to be 36 Republican, 35 Democrat and 29 Independent.

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