Republican candidate Mitt Romney has vaporized President Barack Obama’s lead in swing state Virginia: The two are deadlocked at 48 percent among likely voters, according to new data from a NewsmaxZogby poll.
Three polls conducted in the state have shown Romney steadily chipping away Obama’s lead. The first, released Wednesday, Oct. 24, had the president leading by 3 points; the second, released Thursday, Oct. 25, favored Obama by 2 points, then, on to Friday’s dead heat.
Groups including seniors and Catholics have made the difference for Romney, who has been pulling them away from Obama beginning with the first debate.
The latest results from an online poll of 834 likely voters conducted Tuesday, Oct. 23, through Thursday, Oct. 25, after the third debate on Monday, show seniors (65 and older) polling hard for Romney: 60 percent to 36 percent for Obama.
This wide margin was up from the previous 53 percent to 42 percent in the second poll. Romney led in the first survey’s results as well: 58 percent to 39 percent.
Catholics continue to pull strong for the former Massachusetts governor: 48 percent said they’d vote for him in the latest data, up from 45 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
Romney now leads with independents in Virginia: 46 percent to 42 percent for Obama. The previous survey had Obama ahead with this critical voting bloc, 47 percent to 41 percent. Obama also led in the first poll: 47 percent to 40 percent.
Those reporting a union member in the household weighed in heavily for Obama: 61 percent to 35 percent for Romney. Obama gained in this category with each survey: 54 percent to 44 percent in the second, and 52 percent to 42 percent in the first.
Romney widened his lead among high earners ($100,000-plus) in Virginia: 60 percent to Obama’s 37 percent, up from 58 percent to 37 percent and 52 percent to 44 percent, respectively.
Obama led among low-income earners, defined as $25,000 per year or less: 62 percent to 32 percent for Romney, up from 68 percent to 28 percent, and 60 percent to 35 percent, respectively.
When asked “Do you think Obama deserves to be re-elected?” 44 percent said he does, 47 percent said it is time for someone new. This remained unchanged from the second and first surveys.
Among independents, 36 percent said he deserves to be re-elected, but 47 percent said it is time for someone new — up dramatically from the second poll where 41 percent said he deserves to be re-elected and 42 percent said they want someone new.
Seniors continue to disagree with the way the president is running things: 60 percent said it is time for someone new, versus 33 percent who said Obama deserves to be re-elected. In the second poll, 54 percent versus 39 percent said it is time for someone new, and in the first poll, 58 percent versus 34 percent said it is time for someone new.
Obama carried the youngest demographic, however: 52 percent said he deserves to be re-elected, versus 38 percent who said it is time for someone new, compared to 52 percent versus 40 percent in the second survey and 45 percent versus 38 percent in the first.
The percentage of Virginia likely voters who do not approve of Obama’s job as president has hovered around 50 percent: 51 percent said they “somewhat” or “strongly” disapprove in this round of data, 51 percent said as much for the second round, and 50 percent for the first round.
Those who “somewhat” or “strongly” approve have weighed in at 46 percent for the third and second surveys, with a slightly higher percentage in the first survey at 47 percent.
With the countdown to Election Day begun, the race hinges on key states like Virginia, though predicting those states has proved to be difficult. “It has been said that we will know how this race ends when we know Virginia and Ohio; the only issue is that we don’t know when we will know,” pollster John Zogby said. “Today’s numbers validate that.”
The joint venture between Newsmax and New York State-based pollster John Zogby has featured tracking polls in Ohio and Florida, with Virginia being the latest. National polls are featured right up to Election Day.
The NewsmaxZogby poll uses information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books, and exit polls; complex weighting techniques are employed to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed.
This poll of Virginia likely voters sampled 37 percent Democrats, 36 percent Republicans, and 27 percent independents; 71 percent were white, 6 percent Hispanic, and 19 percent African-American; and 18 percent were ages 18-29, 38 percent ages 30-49, 32 percent ages 50-64, and 12 percent were 65 or older.
All reported results include voters who have already voted and those voters initially undecided who indicated they are leaning toward a candidate.
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