U.S. race is tied, but most think Obama will win

WASHINGTON Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:53pm GMT

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama answer a question at the same time during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama answer a question at the same time during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. presidential race remains a dead heat one week before Election Day but most Americans think President Barack Obama will defeat Republican Mitt Romney, according to a Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll released on Tuesday.

Obama leads Romney among likely voters by 47 percent to 46 percent, a statistically insignificant margin, the online survey found. Neither candidate has held a clear lead since early October.

But 53 percent of all registered voters predicted Obama would win the November 6 election, while only 29 percent said Romney would be the victor. A majority also said that they expected Obama to win their state.

That reflects the opinion of many analysts and pollsters who say Obama holds a tactical advantage in the state-by-state battle to win the White House.

Because Obama starts off with a greater likely number of states' electoral votes, Romney must win a higher number of the seven to 10 states that remain truly competitive.

Obama also holds an advantage among the 22 percent who said they have already cast their ballots. Some 55 percent of this group said they had voted for Obama, while 40 percent said they had voted for Romney.

The four-day poll was not affected in a significant way by Hurricane Sandy because only a small fraction of the 3,293 interviews were completed after the storm hit on Monday afternoon, Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said. Some other polls have suspended their activity due to the storm.

The accuracy of Reuters/Ipsos polling is calculated using a credibility interval. In this survey, the credibility interval is 3.4 percentage points for likely voters and 2.9 percentage points for all registered voters.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Cynthia Osterman)

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