The latest and last NPR Battleground Poll for 2012 shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holding the narrowest of leads in the national sample, but trailing President Obama in the dozen states that will decide the election.
The poll adds evidence that the Oct. 3 debate between the two men redefined the race. But the movement toward Romney that emerged after that night in Denver also seems to have stalled after the race drew even — leaving the outcome difficult to call.
The former governor had a 1 percentage point lead overall in the head-to-head preference poll. The president led by 4 percentage points in the smaller sample of 466 voters in 12 states: Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Both the Romney lead and the Obama lead were within the poll's margin of error.