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U.S. presidential race remains neck and neck after Obama wins 2nd debate

By Matthew Rusling (Xinhua)

08:02, October 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- While U.S. President Barack Obama came back strong in Tuesday night's second presidential debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the race to the White House will remain tight and is still anybody's game, experts said.

"President Obama is back in the game with a strong debate performance. Romney's was strong too,"said Karlyn Bowman, senior fellow at the think tank American Enterprise Institute. "We have now, as we have had for some time, a very close race."

That means the two candidates will continue to fight tooth and nail up until the Election Day on November 6, with likely no clear victor in sight until the ballots are cast and counted.

Indeed, Romney surged ahead in polls after his first debate with Obama earlier this month and now leads the race by a razor- thin margin of 0.4, according to Real Clear Politics' poll average, and continues to make gains in various polls.

The challenger picked up two extra points on Wednesday in Gallup's daily tracking poll, which put him ahead by 51 points to Obama's 46 points among likely voters.

Meanwhile, the race in battleground states is tightening, as Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin last week shifted from leaning toward Obama to being up for grabs, according to Real Clear Politics. Also last week, Romney crossed the 50 percent mark for the first time to widen his lead in the key battleground state of Florida.

And while post-debate snap polls conducted by the CBS found that voters thought Obama won Tuesday's debate, a closer look reveals that uncommitted voters thought Romney beat the president on the economy by a whopping 65 percent to 34 percent.

While a number of issues were raised on Tuesday night, from women's rights in the workplace to foreign policy, the economy and jobs tops the lists of important issues for Americans amid a sluggish recovery and high jobless rates.

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