Mitt Romney’s chances of winning presidential election were boosted today by two polls which gave him a slender lead over Barack Obama.
Polls by Gallup and Rasmussen both gave Mitt Romney 49% of the national vote, ahead of Barack Obama on 48%, flying in the face of other polls which had appeared to show the President in the driving seat over the weekend.
The slim advantage could allow Mitt Romney to snatch victory in the key swing states which he needs to win in order to carry him to the White House.
The odds had appeared to be stacking up against Mitt Romney winning on Tuesday. Among political journalists, campaign reporters and most pollsters, there was a congealing conventional wisdom that President Barack Obama was about to be re-elected, particularly after Hurricane Sandy.
On Sunday, a raft of new national polls from Pew put Barack Obama up three, and NBC/Wall Street Journal, which gave him a one-point advantage. Fox, GWU/Politico and ABC/Washington Post found a tie nationally.
The Gallup poll, released at lunchtime on Monday, was the first since the firm suspended operations during Sandy, and showed a small swing to Obama. Its last poll before the hurricane gave Mitt Romney 51% of the vote with the President on 46%.
Both candidates were plunged into frantic activity on the last full day of campaigning before Tuesday’s election.
Barack Obama scheduled appearances in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa alongside A-list celebrities including Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, while Romney planned a whistle-stop tour of four different swing states – Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire.
The fact that both men included Ohio on their itineraries shows the crucial importance of the state, which both campaigns consider almost indispensable to their victory hopes.