Presidential Polls 2012: Obama Has Slight Lead, but Romney Supporters More Likely to Vote

Several recent polls show President Barack Obama with a slight lead, but within the margin of error, in the weekend before election Tuesday. Republican challenger Mitt Romney leads, though, among those who are most engaged and most likely to vote.

There have been three polls conducted through Saturday.

Pew Research Center shows Obama leading by three percentage points, 50 to 47 percent. The poll of 2,709 likely voters was conducted Wednesday through Saturday. The margin of error is 2.2 percentage points.

NBC/Wall Street Journal shows Obama with a one percentage point lead, 48 to 47 percent, in a Thursday through Saturday poll of 1,475 likely voters.

And, Rasmussen Reports shows a tie, with each candidate garnering 49 percent, in a poll of 1,500 likely voters conducted Thursday through Saturday. The margin of error is three percentage points.

The race is within the margin of error for all three polls. The average of the three would put Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 47.7 percent.

The trend is in Obama's direction. In mid-October, Pew had the race tied, 47-47, and in early-October, Pew had Romney leading, 49-45.

Pew's poll includes undecided voters who indicated which candidate they were leaning toward. When these voters are not included, Obama still leads by three percentage points, 48 to 45 percent.

Romney has an advantage, though, among those most likely to vote, according to Pew. Romney has more support among those who said they have given a lot of thought to the election, 87 to 79 percent; those who are following campaign news closely, 61 to 54 percent; and those who say they definitely plan to vote, 92 to 86 percent.

Most registered voters in the Pew sample, 52 percent, believe that Obama will win re-election. About one in three, 30 percent, believe Romney will win.

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