People listen to  Romney speak during a campa
People listen to Romney speak during a campa Reuters

The Obama campaign has blamed the Gallup company, one of the world’s most famous pollsters, for “flaws,” after a survey showed a surge for Republican challenger Mitt Romney in key “swing” states.

The Democrats have not yet responded to results of a different poll that shows Pennsylvania now in the “swing-state” category. A Quinnipiac poll said on Tuesday that Obama’s lead over Romney has been cut to 4 percent, compared with a 12 percent lead four weeks ago.

The results of a USA Today/Gallup polls released on Monday showed that Romney has eliminated Obama’s popularity advantage among women and now has a four percentage point lead in the “battleground” states of Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

In almost all previous polls, the Gallup polls have been more favorable to Obama than other polls, but now that the results are negative, President Barack Obama’s pollster Joel Benenson alleged that “Gallup’s data is once again far out of line with other public pollsters.”

“We believe the problem with Gallup’s outlying data is rooted in their seven-question likely voter screen, which distorts the composition of likely voters, leading to erratic and inaccurate results,” Benenson wrote in a memo to journalists.

“In the past, Gallup’s justification for such outlying numbers is that they are providing a snapshot of voter attitudes during a particular time period, not predicting the outcome of the election. But this implausible result among women appears to not even provide an accurate reflection on the electorate today, making its value questionable,” he said.

The Republican National Committee scoffed at the response, and one of its spokeswomen said, ”After spending the past two weeks talking about Big Bird, now the best President Obama’s campaign can do is litigate polling.” She was referring to President Obama’s attacks against Romney for saying he would cut federal funding for public broadcasting to reduce the federal deficit. Such a cut could affect Sesame Street, and the Obama campaign featured Sesame Street’s Big Bird character to advertise the threat – until Sesame Street complained it did not want to be drawn not politics.

Attention now is focused on Tuesday night’s debate at Hofstra University in New York.

Obama is expected to fare better than he did in the first debate, and anything less than a “victory” over Romney in post-debate polls could doom the president’s chances when ballots are cast on Election Day in three weeks.

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