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Polls show presidential race a dead heat

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Also speaking on "Meet the Press," Sen. Rob Portman, Obama stand-in for Romney’s debate prep, declared that “the enthusiasm and energy is on our side.”

"I like what I see because the trend is in our direction," said Senator Portman.

Burrowing into the weeds of political polling in the presidential race can muddy the picture.

“Romney's recent surge in the polls after his strong performance in his first debate with Obama on Oct. 3 has propelled the Republican into the lead or within striking distance in enough states to give him a reasonable chance of beating Obama to the finish line,” according to a new Reuters analysis.

"Before the first debate the electoral math looked like a real reach for Romney. Today, it looks quite possible," Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown told the news service.

This tentative conclusion is buttressed by another survey out Friday. Gravis Marketing’s automated survey of 805 likely voters has Romney ahead by two points (46 percent to 44 percent). Romney has an eight-point advantage among independents (42 percent to 34 percent). But a substantial one-quarter of independent voters remain undecided – another reason why Monday night’s foreign-policy debate could be crucial, especially for Obama.

Meanwhile, a Reuters/Ipsos daily online tracking poll on Saturday gave Obama a one-point national advantage, with Ipsos projecting an Obama win with 315 electoral votes.

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