President Barack Obama leads presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Virginia and Wisconsin and trails him in Colorado, according to a poll of the three swing states released today.
The Quinnipiac University-New York Times-CBS News shows advantages for Obama in Virginia, by 49 percent to 45 percent, and in Wisconsin, scene of the recent unsuccessful recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker, by 51 percent to 45 percent. Romney was ahead in Colorado, by 50 percent to 45 percent. Only in Wisconsin was the lead outside the margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
“There is good reason why Virginia, Colorado and Wisconsin are considered swing states -- and this data shows how close they are,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut.
Obama led by eight points among female voters in Colorado, 14 points in Virginia and 23 points in Wisconsin, Romney did better among men, ahead by 17 points in Colorado, five points in Virginia and 10 points in Wisconsin.
Only voters in Wisconsin said they approved of Obama’s job performance, by 51 percent to 46 percent. In Colorado, 53 percent disapproved and 44 percent approved, and in Virginia, voters disapproved of his performance in office by 49 percent to 47 percent.
Likely voters in all three states identified the economy as the top issue in the presidential race. One-fourth of voters in all three states felt the economy was getting better, with pluralities in Colorado and Virginia saying it was getting worse. In Wisconsin, 38 percent said the economy was staying the same and 36 percent said it was getting worse.
In Colorado, 51 percent of likely voters said they believed Romney would do a better job on the economy, a 10-point edge over Obama. In Virginia, Romney’s lead was 47 percent to 45 percent, and Obama had a 47 percent to 46 percent edge in Wisconsin.
The telephone poll was conducted July 31-Aug. 6 and surveyed 1,463 likely voters in Colorado, 1,412 likely voters in Virginia and 1,428 likely voters in Wisconsin.
A separate survey showed Romney with the lowest favorable rating among Republican presidential candidates since then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988 and the only candidate with a net negative rating looking back to at least 1984.
The ABC News-Washington Post poll found 49 percent of Americans rating Romney unfavorably and 40 percent rating him favorably. Bush, who was elected president, had a 41 percent favorable rating and a 38 percent unfavorable rating.
Obama had a 53 percent favorable rating and a 43 percent unfavorable rating in the ABC-Post poll.
Again, Obama does better among women, with 58 percent viewing him favorably, compared with 36 percent for Romney. Among men, 47 percent viewed Obama favorably and 44 percent gave Romney a favorable rating. Among independents, 53 percent view Obama favorably compared with 37 percent for Romney.
The Aug. 1-5 telephone survey of 1,026 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.