Mitt Romney - AP - 4/2/2012
Mitt Romney greeting supporters at his Nevada caucus night victory celebration in Las Vegas, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. Photo by AP
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Romney supporters listen as Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, speaks during a campaign event at Oakland University, October 8, 2012 in Rochester, Michigan. Photo by AP

Republican candidate Mitt Romney has pulled ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama in a national poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

Among likely voters, Romney pulled to a 49 percent lead over Obama, who held 45 percent support, marking the first time Romney has led in a major national poll.

An earlier poll by Pew from September 12-16 showed Obama in the lead with 51 percent to Romney's 42 percent.

Romney has surged in popularity especially among registered voters since his strong performance in Wednesday's first debate with Obama.

Until the debate, Obama had a narrow edge in an average of polls calculated by the website realclearpolitics.com. But the president until recently had a strong lead in key swing states which will decide the election.

Earlier Monday, a new Gallup poll showed that Obama lost his 5 point lead over Romney during the days following last week’s presidential debate.

Currently, Obama and Romney are neck and neck, according to the latest poll conducted by Gallup, the interview-based research group.

Following the debate last Tuesday evening, a CNN poll determined that Romney defeated Obama.

The poll showed that 67% of debate watchers believed that Romney won the showdown, while only 25% said Obama was the winner.

According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, "No presidential candidate has topped 60% in that question since it was first asked in 1984."