President Obama has experienced a resurgence in the well-respected Pew poll of the national presidential election, building a 3-point lead as Tuesday approaches.
Obama pulled 50 percent of likely voters against Republican candidate Mitt Romney's 47 percent, a 3-point bump for the president from Pew's last poll a week ago, which showed the candidates tied at 47 percent.
Pew's numbers have closely followed the national trends over the last two months of the campaign. After convention season in early September, Pew picked up a large bump for the president, finding an 8-point Obama lead. Then after the first presidential debate, Pew showed big movement for Romney, finding a 4-point lead in the former Mass. governor's favor. Then as debate season ended, Obama and Romney had settled into a tie at 47 percent in Pew's Oct. 28 poll. Now the president is ahead again, two days out.
"Nearly four-in-ten (39%) likely voters support Obama strongly, while 9% back him only moderately," Pew pollster wrote. "A third of likely voters support Romney strongly, compared with 11% who back him moderately. In past elections, dating to 1960, the candidate with the higher percentage of strong support has usually gone on to win the popular vote."
Pew pointed out that the president's improved situation seems to draw from groups he's found strength with all along, and Romney is lagging with his strongest:
Obama's increases in likely voter support are most notable among women, older voters, and political moderates. Women now favor Obama by a 13-point margin (53% to 40%), up from six points a week ago and reflecting a shift toward Obama since early October. Right after the first presidential debate, the women's vote was split evenly (47% each). Men, by comparison, favor Romney by a 50% to 42% margin, with little change in the past month.
Romney continues to lead among voters age 65 and older, by a nine point margin (51% to 42%) in the current survey. But that is only about half of the 19-point lead he held among seniors just a week ago. Political moderates now favor Obama by 21 points (56%-35%).
The Pew numbers also confirm the slight upward movement Obama saw in new national numbers from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, who found the president up 48 percent to Romney's 47 percent.
The Pew poll used 2,709 live telephone interviews with likely voters via landline and cell-phone, conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 3. It has a sampling error of 2.2 percent.
(Photo Credit: Brett Marty)