As the presidential race remains deadlocked, both candidates are expected to claim an advantage based on a new round of polls released in the last 24 hours.
For Mitt Romney, who has been climbing in the polls since his performance in the first debate on Oct. 3, a Washington Post/ABC News poll gives him a slight advantage over President Obama nationally, 49 percent to 48 percent, and gives him a 12 percent advantage over the president with independents.
However, the Washington Post/ABC News poll was conducted between October 19 and 22, prior to the third presidential debate, in which Obama was widely considered the winner. A Gallup daily tracking poll of likely voters conducted between October 17 and 23, which includes one day of post-debate reaction, shows Obama narrowing a seven-point pre-debate gap to a three-point gap. A true bounce from the third debate, if any does materialize, will likely not be seen in polls for a few more days. Obama did not get a significant bounce from the second debate, but if the Gallup tracking polls is any indication, he might see one with the third.
Polls also continue to show Obama clinging to a lead in Ohio, a state many political analysts believe will decide the election. A Time Magazine poll and Quinnipiac/CBS News poll both show the president with a five-point lead in Ohio.
Further complicating the picture of the race, an Associated Press poll conducted between October 19-23 indicates Romney is become increasingly competitive with female voters. This could be significant in garnering the few undecided votes remaining based on the prototypical undecided voter: a single woman under the age of 30.
But the same poll shows Obama has nearly erased Romney's advantage with men.
All the polls released Thursday indicate that the race remains neck-and-neck--and largely unchanged through October: Obama and Romney virtually tied in the national polls, with Obama retaining a narrow advantage in the electoral college.