WASHINGTON, Oct 26: Republican nominee Mitt Romney is gradually moving ahead of US President Barack Obama, forcing political pundits to acknowledge that he poses a serious threat to the incumbent.

As the election day nears, many Americans are seriously considering electing a new president on Nov 6 rather than giving Mr Obama a second chance. At least this is what opinion surveys say.

Even The Washington Post, which has endorsed Mr Obama for a second term, conceded on Friday that Mr Romney now enjoys 50 per cent support among likely voters, compared to 47 per cent for the president.

The Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll noted that this is Mr Romney’s highest vote-preference result of the contest to date.

The poll also indicated that Mr Obama had slipped beneath a clear majority in who better understands the public’s economic problems.

But Real Clear Politics, which analyses all major polls, reported that on an average Mr Romney only has a slight edge over Mr Obama, 47.9 to 47 per cent.

Gallup poll reported on Friday that key elements of President Obama’s electoral coalition, such as racial minorities, women, the young, and post-graduates remain intact. The survey showed that the turnout would match that of 2008. Gallup also noted that 2-1 likely voters believe Mr Obama won Monday night’s final debate.

The Marist/ Wall Street Journal/ NBC poll News survey found that the two candidates remain essentially tied, with 49 per cent of likely voters for Mr Romney, 48 per cent for Mr Obama.

The Washington Post/ABC News survey, however, determined that white men, in particular those who lack a college degree, prefer Mr Romney.

Mr Romney’s support among white men is its highest of the campaign, a 2-1 margin, 65-32 per cent.

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