GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney is closing the gap on President Barack Obama in Virginia. Romney now trails Obama 47 to 42 percent compared to 50 to 42 percent in March, a new Quinnipiac University
“President Barack Obama remains ahead in Virginia, but he is hearing Gov. Mitt Romney’s footsteps,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Obama’s lead is built on a gender gap. The president leads among women 51 to 35 percent while Romney leads among men 49 to 44 percent.
“For Romney to take the lead he will need to reverse the gender gap,” Brown said. “Often when Republicans win, they use a solid lead among men and narrow their loss among women. The gender gap is almost certainly with us for the campaign. The only question will be which side harnesses it for their benefit. Currently, the president is winning that battle.”
Among Democrats Obama leads 90 to 4 percent and leads 45 to 37 percent among independents. Those under 35 favor the president 69 to 23 percent but those 55 and older back Romney 49 to 41 percent. Voters 35 to 54 split on the two candidates 45 percent to 45 percent.
Obama’s job approval rating in Virginia is 48 to 47 percent and 49 to 47 percent say he deserves a second term. Virginia voters have a 50 to 44 percent favorable opinion of Obama and 80 to 16 percent say he is a likable person. Romney is viewed favorably by a margin of 39 to 37 percent and voters find him a likable person by a margin of 61 to 28 percent.
Among Virginia voters 46 percent say Romney would do a better job on the economy and 44 percent pick Obama.
The poll also found that putting Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on the Republican ticket would not help Romney. If McDonnell were the running mate of the former Massachusetts governor the spread would favor the Democratic ticket 48 to 43 percent.
The poll surveyed 1,282 registered voters from May 30 to June 4.
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