Obama Leads Romney by Five Percentage Points in Iowa Poll

President Barack Obama leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney by five percentage points in the swing state of Iowa, a poll published tonight shows.

Obama is ahead 47 percent to 42 percent, the Des Moines Register newspaper’s Iowa Poll shows.

The survey of 800 likely voters was conducted Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Iowa has just six of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. Still, both campaigns are fighting over it this final weekend before the election, with Obama and Romney holding events near each other this afternoon in Dubuque.

None of the swing states has more sentimental appeal and symbolism for Obama, whose win in the 2008 Iowa caucuses put him on his way to the Democratic nomination and the White House. The president is scheduled to headline what will likely be the last campaign rally of his own political career in Des Moines on the evening before the election, before flying to Chicago for Election Day.

“Iowa, I started my presidential journey right here in this state. After two years of campaigning and after four years as president, you know me by now,” Obama told about 5,000 supporters tonight in Dubuque, hours after Romney was there. “You know I tell the truth. And you know I’ll fight for you.”

This year’s politicking in Iowa has played out against the backdrop of a stronger economy than the nation as a whole.

Iowa’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in September, below the national average of 7.8 percent that month. The state has prospered from strong farm prices, though this year’s drought has hurt the size and profitability of the harvest.

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