Francois Fillon, right, former French Prime Minister, member of the Republicans political party and 2017 French presidential election candidate of the French centre-right, is greeted by supporters as he arrives to attend a campaign rally in Lille, France, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The two- round system means a straight face-off between the top two candidates in the run-off.
Only the top two will advance to the run-off on May 7.
A banner held by a far-left protester on Wednesday read: "Far-rightists can't be fought in the ballot box".
"Emmanuel Macron warmly thanked Barack Obama for his friendly call", Macron's party "En Marche!" said in a statement.
"An endorsement was not the goal of the call, as President Obama is not making any formal endorsement in advance of the run-off election on Sunday", Lewis added, though the clarification did not stop speculation that the call was Obama's way of signaling favor for the candidate. Some Muslims feel unfairly targeted by French laws banning headscarves in schools and full-face veils in public.
French independent candidate Emmanuel Macron remains in front in the first round of the French presidential election, 3.5 percentage points ahead of far-right hopeful Marine Le Pen, a Harris Interactive poll for LCP broadcaster said Wednesday. But the race to succeed the deeply unpopular socialist President Francois Hollande has tightened in recent weeks. Authorities announced Tuesday that they had arrested two Islamic radicals suspected of plotting a possible attack around the vote.
Leader of the National Front, Ms Le Pen, said she wanted to be president of France, "not the European Commission", according to reports.
What is at stake in this election is the continuity of France as a free nation, our existence as a people, she said in February 2017.