Obama’s Favorable Showing Balanced by Romney’s Hold on Men

Photograph by Eric Thayer/The New York Times via Redux

Workers listen as Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event at Acme Industries in Elk Grove Village, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2012. Photograph by Eric Thayer/The New York Times via Redux

There are challenges for both President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney in the morning run of polls.

Obama has regained lost ground against Romney among independent voters, crucial in any national election, according to the findings of an ABC News/Washington Post poll. The share of voters who view him favorably is buoyed by his widest advantage so far among women, while Romney stands stronger among men. Romney’s upside-down balance of voters viewing him unfavorably and favorably has widened.

The president holds a narrow advantage over Romney among likely voters in Wisconsin (six percentage points) and Virginia (four points), while Rommey holds a five-point edge over Obama in Colorado — where the president will campaign today — according to a Quinnipiac University poll with CBS News and The New York Times. That adds to a swing-state series of polling that found Obama ahead of Romney in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Among all independents surveyed by Langer Associates for ABC and the Post, Obama’s favorability rating is 16 points higher than Romney’s (53 percent to 37 percent). That advantage narrows among independents registered to vote — 46 Obama, 38 Romney.

“Mitt Romney is laboring under the lowest personal popularity ratings for a presumptive presidential nominee in midsummer election-year polls back to 1984,” Langer Associates reports. “But Barack Obama has his own challenges… notably among registered voters, and with much weaker numbers among men than women.”

Forty percent of Americans view Romney favorably, 49 percent unfavorably – “leaving him underwater, at least numerically, in 10 straight ABC/Post polls this year,” Langer notes.

Romney finished the primary election season with the lowest favorability for a presumptive nominee in ABC/Post polls going back 28 years.

Obama  is seen more positively than negatively among all adults, 53-43 percent favorable-unfavorable, but registered voters are nearly evenly split: 49-47 percent.

Obama holds his greatest advantage among women,  58 percent seeing him favorably, while 47 percent of men hold a positive view of the president  – “the widest gender gap in this measure of the season,” Langer says. Romney stands better among men than women – 44 percent favorable vs. 36 percent.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,026 adults was run by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y.. The survey has a possible margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Quinnipac, with CBS and the Times, found:

In Colorado: “Romney is seen as better able to manage the economy, and voters think his plans are more likely than Obama’s to help them financially.  In a reversal from 2008, Romney is leading among whites – whom Obama won narrowly in 2008.  White college graduates, whom Obama carried by 14 points in 2008, are now divided, as are independents.  Men and voters over 35 are behind Romney, while the president has strong support from Colorado’s women and Hispanic voters.”

In Virginia:  “Obama is helped by strong support from women and black voters, and he is much more likely than Romney to be seen as caring about voters’ problems. Romney keeps the race close with support from independents and a large lead among whites, especially non-college educated whites. ”

In Wisconsin: “Obama has the backing of women and voters in union households in a state that he carried easily in 2008.  More see him rather than Romney as caring about them, and the President has higher favorable and job approval ratings in Wisconsin than in Colorado or Virginia.”

The survey of over 1,400 likely voters in each of the three states run July 31 through August 6 has a possible margin of error of 3 percentage points.



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