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Mitt Romney slips ahead of president after debate: poll

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's strong performance in last week's debate helped him pull ahead of President Barack Obama, a Pew Research Center poll showed on Monday.

Likely voters favored Romney in the presidential race by 49 percent to Obama's 45 percent, while Romney came up even at 46 percent with Obama among registered voters, Pew said. Romney had trailed Obama by nine points among likely voters in September.

Other polls found that Romney got a bump from last week's debate, the first of three presidential debates, but most showed Obama retaining the lead.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Sunday, for example, found 47 percent of likely voters saying they would vote for Obama and 45 percent for Romney if the Nov. 6 election were held now.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters, conducted Oct. 4-7 found that voters by almost three to one said Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate.

“Romney is seen as the candidate who has new ideas and is viewed as better able than Obama to improve the jobs situation and reduce the budget deficit,” said Pew in a statement.

Romney's favorable rating rose five percentage points in September to hit 50 percent among registered voters for the first time in Pew Research Center surveys, it said.

Romney also achieved gains over the past month among women, white non-Hispanics and those younger than 50, said Pew. It noted that likely women voters are now evenly divided at 47 percent each for Obama and Romney, when last month, Obama led Romney by 18 points among women likely to vote.

Gallup's Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 poll of registered voters across the nation showed Obama had a five-point lead over Romney in the three days before last Wednesday's presidential debate.

But in the three days after the debate, that lead had melted away and the two candidates were tied at 47 percent apiece.

Obama still had a three-point edge, 49 to 46 percent, in Gallup's seven-day rolling average ending Saturday, which included polls before and after the debate.

“Even on this basis, the race has become somewhat more competitive compared with before the first debate,” Gallup said.

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 Pew poll finds Romney edges ahead of Obama after debate 
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is seen during a rally in Newport News, Virginia, Monday, Oct. 8. A Pew Research Center poll showed on Monday that likely voters favored Romney in the presidential race by 49 percent to Obama's 45 percent. (AFP/AP)



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