Obama winning money race, but Romney gains in key states

Micro-donations through social media have fueled Obama's money drive

The Obama campaign says it raised $US183 million during September, much of it through $US5 microdonations solicited through txt messages and social media. The new media money drive, through Twitter and Facebook, has helped offset the influence of traditional big donours (unions on the left and corporates on the right) in the crucial money race.

Challenger Mitt Romney has yet to say what he raised in the month. In August, Obama raised $US114 million to the Romeny campaign's $US111 million.

The political momentum is with the challenger, however.

Polls taken since the first debate show the presidential race tied, or Mr Romney up to 2% ahead, although a poll-of-polls average has Mr Obama still 1.4% ahead.

The race has also tightened in the battleground states that will likely decide the election under the electoral college system.

In Florida, the challenger trailed President Obama in all polls before the debate. Now, the latest two polls have Mr Romney 2% and 3% ahead respectively.

In the most keenly contested swing state, Ohio, the race appears to have tightened dramatically.

Before the first debate, a Wall Street Journal-NBC-Marist poll had Mr Obama 8% ahead in Ohio. But the latest two polls indicate a statistical dead heat; one has Mr Romney ahead by 1%, the other Obama in front by 1% in the state

The Vice Presidential debate is due to be held on October 11 (Oct 12 NZ time), followed by the second Presidential debate on October 16 at 9pm Eastern US time (2pm Oct 17 NZT).

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