WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama, boosted by support from women voters, holds a four-point lead nationally over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The survey of likely voters by Quinnipiac University gave Obama a 49 percent to 45 percent edge, as he led 56 percent to 38 percent among women. Romney led among men, 52 percent to 42 percent. Independent voters backed Romney, 47 percent to 45 percent, within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.
Romney led among white voters, 53 percent to 42 percent, while Obama led among blacks, 94 percent to 2 percent.
"President Barack Obama won only about 43 percent of the white vote in 2008, so his current standing among whites tracks his earlier winning performance," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of Hamden, Conn.-based Quinnipiac’s polling institute. "It is also very difficult to win an election when you are getting shellacked among women, the group that makes up about half the electorate."
The Quinnipiac findings match Obama’s lead in the daily Gallup tracking poll, 49 percent to 45 percent, for the period Sept. 24-30.
In the Quinnipiac poll, 50 percent viewed Obama favorably and 47 unfavorably. For Romney, the percentages were almost reversed, 48 percent unfavorable and 45 percent favorable.
Sixty percent of voters said Obama cared about their needs and problems, while 51 percent said Romney didn’t care, the poll found. Fifty-five percent, including 54 percent of independents, said Romney’s policies would favor the rich.
Half of the likely voters surveyed said the economy was the most important issue, and they deadlocked on which candidate would do a better job handling it, 48 percent for Obama and 47 percent for Romney. By 39 percent to 34 percent, voters said the economy was improving.
"Some critical keys to the president’s lead are that Romney has not convinced voters that he would do a better job on the economy," Brown said.
While 93 percent said they planned to watch the presidential debates, with the first one scheduled for tomorrow night on the economy and other domestic issues, 86 percent said they didn’t expect to change their minds as a result of what the candidates said, and 54 percent said they expected Obama to win the debates, compared with 28 percent for Romney.
The survey of 1,912 likely voters was taken Sept. 25-30.