Polls: Obama Holds Slight Leads in Virginia, Ohio

Matt Vasilogambros
National Journal

President Obama is holding on to slim leads in Ohio and Virginia, two critical swing states, according to new polls released on Saturday.

In Virginia, the president has a slender lead, beating Mitt Romney 51 percent to 47 percent, according to a new Washington Post poll. This lead, however, is smaller than the eight-point advantage Obama saw in mid-September.

Bucking national trends, Obama is still seen as stronger on the economy and having a better understanding of people’s financial problems. And on social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage, Obama holds a 56 percent to 35 percent lead among likely voters.

Romney, though, holds the advantage with military veterans and service members on active duty, leading 59 percent to 38 percent. Romney has jumped eight points among this group of voters since mid-September. On Saturday, Romney continued his attack on Obama over the size of the U.S. Navy.

Similarly, in Ohio the president holds a four-point advantage over Romney with 50 percent support, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll. The poll shows that the race in Ohio has essentially remained the same since early October.

In yet another main battleground state, a Tampa Bay Times/News 9 poll of likely voters along Florida's Interstate 4 corridor between Tampa and Daytona Beach found Romney leading Obama 51 percent to 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided. Although it is not a statewide poll, that region has been the key barometer of winning the Sunshine State in the past.

The gender gap is still present in the Buckeye State, as Obama leads 56 percent to 42 percent among female voters and Romney leads 50 percent to 44 percent among male voters. Obama also holds a lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, among independent voters.

Obama was also leading among those who say they have already voted through absentee or early ballots.

Both candidates have had to cancel their upcoming campaign stops in Virginia and other states because of the impending storm that is set to hit the East Coast on Sunday.

The Post poll was conducted between Oct. 22 and Oct. 26. It surveyed 1,504 adults and 1,228 likely voters, and the margin of error was 3.5 percentage points.

The CNN poll was conducted among 1,009 Ohio adults, including 896 registered voters and 741 likely voters, between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25. The margin of error overall was 3.5 percentage points.