Barack Obama gets poll boost from handling of Superstorm Sandy as US presidential election campaign enters frenetic final days

Experts predict photo-finish in one of the closest elections in American history

Barack Obama has edged ahead of his rival Mitt Romney in the final days of the presidential campaign, as experts predicted a photo-finish to one of the closest elections in American history.

A new poll for the Pew Research Center holds a 48% to 45% lead for Obama over Romney among likely voters.

As the candidates raced across the US in the final frenetic days of campaigning the polls are thought to indicate Obama was helped by his handling of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

The poll of 2,709 likely voters, which has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points, indicates a modest lead for Obama - the final estimate based on the figures being Obama at 50% and Romney at 47%.

Last week another Pew poll had the candidates neck-and-neck at 47% among likely voters.

That poll was, however, held before the superstorm battered the East Coast of the US.

The numbers suggest that Obama's handling of the storm may have improved his showing with 69% of likely voters saying they approved of the way Obama dealt with the impact of the storm.

Even among Romney supporters Obama polled 46% in support of his handling of the crisis. The biggest number was, however, 63% among the crucial swing voters.

The findings of the poll are broadly similar to those of the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll that was published this weekend - the two surveys are the first to indicate the possible impact of the storm, which has claimed the lives of 110 people so far, and left thousands without electricity, on the outcome of the election.

The poll news came as Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney fired into the last day of their long presidential contest, mounting a final thrust before Election Day and engaging in the toughest battleground state - Ohio.

The two campaigns' schedules left little doubt where the election would be won or lost: Obama was holding rallies in Wisconsin and Iowa. Romney is in Florida, Virginia and New Hampshire.

The richest prize is Ohio, and today both Obama and Romney were rallying their supporters in its capital, Columbus.

Under the US system, the winner is not determined by the nationwide popular vote but in state-by-state contests, making these nine “battleground” states that are neither consistently Republican nor Democratic extremely important in such a tight race.

Romney and Obama are competing to win at least 270 electoral votes. They are apportioned to states based on a mix of population and representation in Congress.

That raises the possibility of a replay of the 2000 election when Republican George W Bush won the presidency with an electoral vote majority, while Democrat Al Gore had a narrow lead in the nationwide popular vote.

Nationwide it still looked today as though the race could be one of the tightest in US history.

According to Associated Press, if the election was held today Obama would be all but assured of 249 electoral votes, by carrying 20 states that are solidly Democratic or leaning his way — Iowa, Nevada and Pennsylvania among them — and the District of Columbia.

Romney would lay claim to 206, from probable victories in 24 states that are strong Republican turf or tilt toward the Republicans, including North Carolina.

Up for grabs are 83 electoral votes spread across Colorado, Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Of those, Republicans and Democrats alike say Obama seems in slightly better shape than Romney in Ohio and Wisconsin, while Romney appears to be performing slightly better than Obama or has pulled even in Florida and Virginia.

News
people
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
News
news

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
tech
News
people
Life and Style
tech Manband spurn Spotify to stream album exclusively with Google
News
Irradiated turkey and freeze dried mash potato will be on the menu this thanksgiving
video
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Visitor Centre - Attraction Manager

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: For the first time in its 1,000...

Recruitment Genius: Air Conditioning Service and / or Installation Engineers

£27400 - £33500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time air conditioning, ven...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of web an...

Recruitment Genius: Class 1 Driver

£12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader in the events...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?