With the US presidential election just 12 days away, several new polls show Republican challenger Mitt Romney either even or slightly ahead of President Barack Obama, who appears to be slipping with white male voters.
The largest margin comes from a Gallup daily tracking poll of 9,424 likely voters nationwide released Friday, which shows Romney up by 5 points, 51 percent to 46 percent.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,386 likely voters released Friday shows 49 percent support Romney and 48 percent support Obama, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.
But the gap is much wider among white voters, with 60 percent of those polled supporting Romney to 37 percent for Obama.
"Many white men, and many, in particular, non-college white men, have not seen that the Democratic economic agenda is in their interest," said Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington-based non-profit government think tank, in an interview with CBS News.
"There's an account from the left that says these voters have been estranged from Democrats on social issues. And there's some truth to that,” he said. “But I also think these voters believe the economic policies of Democrats have benefitted somebody else - not them.”
Obama spokesman Adam Fetcher said Obama would be better for middle-class voters than Romney.
“Middle-class Americans, regardless of age, gender or race, have a clear choice in this election,” he told the Washington Post. “Whether it’s on the stump or by mobilizing grass-roots volunteers in neighborhoods across the country, President Obama is working to tell every American about his concrete, detailed plan to move America forward, get folks back to work and strengthen the middle class.”
In the hotly-contested swing states, the presidency appears to be largely up for grabs.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll shows both men garnering 48 percent of the vote in Colorado, with Obama up by 3 percent in Nevada, 50 percent to 47 percent, and within the survey’s margin of error.
A Fox News poll of 1,203 registered Virginia voters puts Romney ahead by two points, 47 percent to 45 percent.
In Ohio, the second largest swing state with 18 electoral votes, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows Obama up 50 percent to 46 percent.