A national poll of more than 36,000 voters in 27 states forecasts that Barack Obama will win re-election by two percentage points and 303 electoral college votes to Mitt Romney’s 235.
In what it bills as “one of the most extensive polls ever conducted”, British-based YouGov conducted its survey via the internet between October 31stand November 3rd.
The survey included all the battleground states along with the largest states such as New York, California and Texas.
The figures are much more optimistic for Barack Obama than other polls conducted over the weekend.
ABC/Washington Post, Rasmussen, George Washington University/Politico, and Fox News polls all found the race as tied. NBC/Wall Street Journal gave Barack Obama a one-point advantage.
YouGov projects that Barack Obama will win 18 states comfortably, giving him a base of 237 electoral college votes, 33 short of his target. Mitt Romney is projected to win 24 base states, giving him 191 electoral college votes, 79 short of victory.
There are 110 electoral college votes up for grabs in the remaining nine states, with Barack Obama needing to win just under a third of them and Mitt Romney needing almost three-quarters of them.
But Peter Kellner, president of YouGov, hedged his bets by saying that “while the President looks set for re-election, a Romney victory cannot be ruled out”.
Such an outcome, however, “would need YouGov’s figures – and those of almost all other pollsters – to be systematically wrong”.
Latest national poll shows Barack Obama will win re-election by 2 percentage points and 303 electoral college votes to Mitt Romney’s 235
YouGov identified the following as sources of possible error: a late swing towards Mitt Romney; different turnout to what the pollsters predicted; inaccurate methodology; or response rates that over-represent Barack Obama’s support.
Peter Kelner said: “We are predicting that Obama is going to hang on to the presidency, but by a smaller margin than in 2008. It’s even possible that Obama will narrowly lose the nationwide popular vote and still win the electoral college.
“Mitt Romney could win one million more votes than Obama across American and still lose the election. There have been elections when the winner of the popular vote has lost the Electoral College, most recently in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote, but still lost the election to George W Bush.
“In such a tight race, no doubt the Democrats are not only concerned about losing the White House, but are also worried about the cloud that could hang over Obama’s second term if he does not win the popular vote. Whatever happens tomorrow, this will undeniably be an historic election.”
Barack Obama maintains a polling edge in all-important Ohio with a 2.8% lead in the RealClearPolitics average. Mitt Romney leads by 1.4% and 0.3% in Florida and Virginia respectively – two swing states he must win if he is to oust Barack Obama.
But the Romney campaign remains strikingly confident that a surge in Republican turnout and a swing among late-deciding voters will put them over the top.
Rich Beeson, Mitt Romney’s political director, told Fox News on Sunday: “There’s an intensity factor out there on the side of the Republicans, that is a significant gap and we see it out on the ground.
“We see it when people are knocking on the doors, we see it when people are making the phone calls and again, it gets back to the simple fact that Governor Romney is out there talking about big things and big change, not about small things.”
There were “two numbers to keep in mind” he said.
“One is independents. Independents are going decide this race in all of these states. Governor Romney consistently leads among independents because they have seen his message, for creating 12 million jobs, real recovery and strengthening the middle class.
“The second number is you’ve got an incumbent president who has been running for this job for the last four years since the day he got elected, will have raised and spent over $1 billion and he is stuck well below 50, at 48, 47, 46, in all of these polls.
“When you’re an incumbent under 50, and well under 50, that’s a bad place to be.”
Mitt Romney has doubled his lead in a new national poll just hours after the final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida.
Just two weeks to go until election day it is unclear whether President Barack Obama will be able to make up the gap.
Mitt Romney held a four-point lead in the Rasmussen tracking poll released on Tuesday, with 50% of the vote compared to 46% for Barack Obama. In Monday’s poll he led by two points.
In addition, Mitt Romney’s lead was five points in swing states and as many as nine points among self-declared independent voters.
The poll was released just a few hours after the third and last debate of the presidential election campaign, which saw the two candidates clash over foreign affairs in Boca Raton.
Barack Obama showed off his foreign-policy experience, repeatedly patronizing his opponent as he accused him off being “all over the map” on how to deal with the world, even describing him as “wrong and reckless”.
But Mitt Romney held his own in the face of Barack Obama’s sustained assaults, working hard to establish his credentials as a sober and steady statesman with an obviously well-briefed analysis of world matters, from Iran to Poland to Mali.
The two bitter rivals were meeting for the final time at Lynn University in Boca Raton with all to play for in a neck-and-neck race for the White House.
CNN’s survey of debate-watchers showed that 48% considered the President the winner, with 40% favoring Romney and 12% undecided. A CBS poll had Barack Obama in front with 53% compared to just 23% for Romney, with 24% on the fence.
The Rasmussen Reports poll released on Tuesday recounted only the results of surveys conducted before the debate, so it is not yet known whether either candidate will receive a boost from the evening.
Mitt Romney has doubled his lead in a new national poll just hours after the final presidential debate in Boca Raton
One contest Barack Obama undoubtedly won was that of loquaciousness – the President spoke for 41 minutes and 42 seconds, 35 seconds longer than Mitt Romney. The Democratic candidate had the majority of speaking time in all four presidential or vice-presidential debates this year.
It was Barack Obama who appeared to be the challenger at times – a clear sign that he fears his re-election hopes are slipping away from him – hammering away at Mitt Romney, trying to belittle him and all but calling him a liar.
Mitt Romney tried to remain above the fray and appeal to moderate and undecided voters. He was noticeably less tetchy than in the bad-tempered second debate in Hempstead, New York.
But Mitt Romney hit home with a precise attack on Barack Obama’s “apology tour” of the Middle East in 2009, which seemed to rile Obama visibly. He said that the President had said he was sorry the U.S. had dictated to countries, adding: “Mr. President we have not dictated to other nations, we have freed other nations from dictators.”
The Romney campaign appeared confident in the aftermath of the debate, arguing that Barack Obama was “shedding voters” and was “trying to manage the rate of decline” in support ahead of election day.
“We entered this debate in a good position and we leave it in a stronger position,” said strategist Stuart Stevens.
“Whatever is that intangible quality of being presidential and who you would trust, Governor Romney had it more than the President.”
Speaking about Barack Obama’s performance in Boca Raton, Stuart Stevens added: “It was not the demeanor you would expect of a President. He came in with a bunch of political talking points like a young fresh graduate of a spin class trying to come off with these points.”
But the President’s campaign manager Jim Messina described Mitt Romney as “unsteady”, adding that he “did not look like a commander-in-chief. He did not pass the test and that’s a very bad moment for the Romney campaign”.
Jim Messina continued: “The contrast tonight was between a strong and steady President and an uncertain Romney and that’s how incumbent presidents get re-elected.”