A razor-thin race in PurpleStates, with Obama holding aslight advantage.
Much has happened since our last PurplePoll: allthree Presidential debates, the Vice Presidentialdebate, and the September jobs report. The neteffect on the PurplePoll is consistent: the racehas tightened, with President Obama maintaininga slight lead.Across the 12 Purple States, President Obamacurrently leads by 2 points, 47% to 45%. Thisrepresents a net 3-point change in the lead inGovernor Romney’s favor.We see similar movement in the three individualstates we polled, with Obama maintaining smallleads in Ohio and Colorado, and the race knottedup in Virginia.
Ohio (Obama +2):
Our result in Ohio shows asmall move in Governor Romney’s directionover the last month. Today, President Obamaleads 46% to 44%, down from a 4-point lead inSeptember. President Obama has a strong leadamong early voters: 26% of Ohio voters say theyhave already voted, and he leads by 26 pointsamong that group. Romney holds a 2-point leadamong independents in the state.
Colorado (Obama +1):
The critical mountain statehas tightened as well. Today, President Obama’slead is down to 1 point, 47% to 46%, down froma 3-point lead in September. He holds a 6-pointlead over Romney among early voters, and therace is tied among independents.
Governor Romney has gainedground in this state over the past month. Obamaled by 3 points in September, and the state isnow tied at 47%. Romney holds a 3-point leadamong independents.
Two opposite forces at work in Purple States:Romney’s image has improved, while voters’opinion of the economy has ticked up.
Governor Romney has seen a substantial improve-ment in perceptions around his personal image overthe past month. Today, 44% have a favorable viewof him, with 49% unfavorable, an improvementfrom 38%/52% last time. Over the same period,President Obama has seen his personal image tickdown slightly (today, 47% favorable, 48% unfavorable,compared to 49%/46% in September).That improvement in Romney’s image is directlyrelated to his improvement in Purple State polling.At the same time, it has been balanced by an uptickin opinions about the economy. In our latest poll,37% believe the economy is “getting better,”compared to 34% last month.This small change can have an outsized impacton the vote. As we have noted in previous polls,perception of the economy is the strongest attitudinalpredictor of the vote. In our current polling, 94% of