NewsmaxZogby Poll: Catholic Vote Narrows Gap for Romney in Virginia

Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 11:16 AM

By David Alliot

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is making strides in Virginia, trailing President Barack Obama by a mere 2 percentage points — 49 percent to 47 percent — well within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, according to a NewsmaxZogby poll released on Thursday.

The survey of the Obama-Romney face-off in swing state Virginia was conducted Monday, Oct. 22, through Wednesday, Oct. 24, and is the second in a series of three. The first poll, conducted Sunday, Oct. 21 through Tuesday, Oct. 23, had Romney behind 3 points: 49 percent to 46 percent. The polls place the candidates in a statistical dead heat.

The president saw a reversal of appeal among Catholic respondents in Virginia: 49 percent said they’d vote for him in the latest poll, down from 64 percent who said as much in Wednesday’s results.

Urgent Poll: Who Won the Presidential Debates? Vote Here!

Romney picked up the slack: 45 percent said they'd vote for him in the latest data, up from 32 percent in the previous polling.

Only 39 percent of Catholics polled “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of Obama's performance compared to his previous strong showing of 54 percent. His disapproval rating, combining “strongly” and “somewhat,” climbed 12 percentage points from Wednesday’s data — 49 percent to 37 percent.

Obama’s overall approval rating took a hit among the 832 likely voters polled: 46 percent said they “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the job he’s doing as president, while 51 percent said they “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of his performance. Wednesday’s results were 48 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Though Obama retains a razor-thin lead over his Republican opponent for now, the race for Virginia will be a tight one. “There is no question that this all-important state is up for grabs,” said pollster John Zogby. “No huge shifts, but some groups are moving; it won’t take much movement to flip this race.”

Obama made some inroads among seniors, the latest data show: 40 percent said they “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of his performance, up from 36 percent in the previous data. But he has a long way to go: 59 percent disapprove, though slightly down from Wednesday’s results, which pegged him at a 63 percent disapproval rating.

His approval rating rose slightly among whites: 36 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of his performance, up from 34 percent in the previous data, though 63 percent said they “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove. That number improved slightly from Wednesday’s 65 percent.

Obama lost some of the male vote among likely voters: 46 percent said they’d vote for him, compared to 48 who reported they would in the previous poll. Romney picked up some of those votes: 49 percent now, up from 46 percent on Wednesday. But Obama gained a percentage point among women in the latest data: 52 percent, up from 51 percent. Romney lost a point: 45 percent, down from 46 percent.

More households with a union member ponied up for Romney this time around: 44 percent versus 42 percent said they’d vote for him, though Obama also gained union votes, 55 percent to 52 previously. Undecideds were down sharply in this category: 3 percent from 6 percent previously.

In the “Do you think Obama deserves to be re-elected?” category, much remained the same, though more seniors (65 and over) said he deserves re-election: 39 percent this time to 34 percent previously. A higher percentage said it is time for someone new: 54 percent felt this way in the latest data, down from 58 percent in the previous.

The youngest group, 18- to 29-year-olds, came out stronger for Obama: 52 percent said he deserves re-election, versus 45 percent previously; 40 percent said it is time for someone new, up from 38 percent who said so according to Wednesday’s data.

Urgent Poll: Who Won the Presidential Debates? Vote Here!

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.

All reported results include voters who have already voted and those voters initially undecided who indicated they are leaning toward a candidate.

The NewsmaxZogby Poll of Virginia likely voters sampled 37 percent Democrats, 36 percent Republicans and 27 percent independents; 71 percent white, 6 percent Hispanic, and 19 percent African-American; and 18 percent age 18-29, 38 percent age 30-49, 32 percent age 50-64, and 12 percent age 65 or older.

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