Romney Edges Obama with Likely Voters — Gallup’s First Take

Photograph by Charles Dharapak/AP Photo via Bloomberg

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, is seen at an undisclosed location in this 2012 handout photo. PBS's "The Choice 2012" presents dual biographies of the presidential candidates.

Mitt Romney has taken a modest lead over President Barack Obama among likely voters surveyed over the past week by Gallup: Romney49 percent, Obama 47 — a marginal tie in statistical terms.

For months, Gallup’s daily tracking survey has shown a rough tie between Obama and Romney among registered voters — with Obama up as much seven points in mid-September, and Romney up two points in mid-August.

The latest, the results from a run of surveys from Oct. 2 through Oct. 8, shows Obama ahead of Romney by 49-46 percentage points among those registered to vote.

The difference is registration and intentions of voting. Romney fares better in most counts among likely voters, a measure of voter determination that registers as a challenge for Obama.

In the Pew Research Center survey released yesterday, the two candidates were tied among registered voters, with Romney holding a four-point edge over Obama among likely voters.

After months of reporting the results of its seven-day rolling average of registered voters surveyed, and about one month from Election Day, Gallup is getting into the likely voter hunt.

It’s so new that Gallup says “additional methodology details” are “coming soon.” Methodology is everything, as Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla and Jonathan Salant report today.

The methodology of the larger seven-day Gallup survey of registered voters yields a 2 percentage-point margin of error for the 3,050 surveyed over the week. The likely voter screen will have only a fractionally larger margin.

Bottom line, it shows a virtually tied race, within the margin of error.

And that is a lot stronger picture for Romney than the one polls portrayed before the first presidential debate of the season on Oct. 3.

Pew’s poll is post-debate. Gallup’s is mostly post-debate.

They both register a debate bump for Romney.

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