After months of intense campaigning, millions of Americans will vote today to decide who they want to serve as their president until 2016.
But with only hours left before polls close, U.S. President Barack Obama is still locked in a tight race for the White House with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to presidential polls.
Though five recent polls show the president with a slight advantage, it is still a statistical dead heat; two polls are showing a full 10-point swing -- that is, a 5-point lead for the incumbent in one poll and for the Republican nominee in the other.
Real Clear Politics’ average of national polls show that Obama has a small lead over Romney, 47.8 percent to 47.4 percent.
A look at each of the most recent individual polls in the RCP survey shows voters in five polls favoring Obama, and two polls have voters giving Romney the win, while three polls indicate a tie. According to those polls, it is anyone’s race at this point.
By The Numbers
Rasmussen Reports has Obama trailing by 1 percentage point, 48, to 49. CNN has both the challenger and incumbent locked at 49 percent. It is a 3-percentage-point advantage for Obama in the Pew Research survey, showing 50 percent to 47 percent.
Politico also has both men neck and neck at 48 percent. In the NBC poll, Obama is up one, 48 percent to Romney’s 47. The CBS News poll turned out similar results to NBC’s.
ABC News is reporting 49 percent for Obama to Romney’s 48 percent. In the Fox News poll, the two rivals are at 46 percent each.
The most interesting of all the recent presidential polls are the National Journal and Gallup polls, where each man has a 5-point lead over the other. By the Journal’s account, Obama is riding high at 50 percent among likely voters. For Gallup, it is Romney taking the lead, 51 percent.
A Divided America
Everything is at stake in the Tuesday's election.
The country is divided among two able nominees who have different views on some of the top issues of the 2012 election: economy and jobs, gender issues (including reproductive health and equal pay for equal work), health care (with Romney vowing to repeal Obamacare) and immigration.
Even race is a dividing factor. Some surveys, like the CNN poll, have Romney leading Obama 57 percent to 40 percent among white voters. Obama is doing much better than Romney among voters making less than $50,000 per year. However, Romney is doing much better with those making more than $50,000 per year. He is also beating the incumbent among male voters.
There is also some geographical divide with those in the Northeast, Midwest and urban areas favoring Obama, while Romney secures the advantage in the South, West and suburban and rural areas.