President Obama leads Mitt Romney in a new poll of 12 key swing states.
Obama leads 49 percent to 44 percent in the poll from Purple Strategies.
The poll is a combined sample of likely voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, and also shows good news for Obama in over-sampled results for Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Colorado. Last month’s Purple Poll showed Romney with a slight edge in swing states, 47 percent to Obama’s 46 percent.
“One important change in the latest numbers: President Obama now leads among independents,” in the states surveyed, Purple pollsters wrote. It’s the first time Obama has led independent swing-state voters in seven months, the pollsters wrote.
A rosier view of the economy among voters might be bolstering the president.
More swing state voters this month say the economy is getting better than in either August or July. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the economy is getting better, 5-point improvement from August. Forty percent (40%) say it is getting worse (25% staying the same).
As we have seen before, voter perception of performance on the economy is the single greatest predictor of the vote. Among those who say the economy is improving, Obama leads 94% to 4%. Among those who say it is getting worse, Romney leads, 86% to 8%. The improved (though still low) perception of the economy plays an important explanatory role in the improved performance we have seen for President Obama across the Purple Poll.
The poll did have a bright spot for Romney — he’s leading in Florida, a state with 29 electoral votes, 48 percent to 47 percent.
But Purple also confirmed a troubling trend for Republicans in Ohio: Romney’s favorability is only 36 percent. Obama’s isn’t great, either: 47 percent of Ohio voters have a favorable view him versus 48 percent who have an unfavorable view.
The Purple Poll used 1,000 automated telephone interviews with likely voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin by landline (automated surveys are prohibited from calling cell phones) conducted Sept. 15-19. It also used over-samples of 600 likely voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The overall sample has a margin of error of 3.1 percent and the individual states have a sampling error of 4 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.