Some good news for President Barack Obama after a few weeks of generally rough developments: he continues to hold a decent lead in the new swing state of Virginia. A Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday morning shows Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by a margin of 47 to 42 percent.
That margin is slightly slimmer than the 50 to 42 percent lead Obama enjoyed over Romney in Quinnipiac's last poll of Virginia voters. That poll was taken while the Republican primary was ongoing. With Romney having emerged as the nominee, the race was bound to tighten. But instead of the former Massachusetts governor's numbers improving, they've remained stagnant; Obama's have declined slightly.
The reason behind the president's dip is unclear. The poll's authors posit that his support for gay marriage isn't a major factor.
"Virginia voters oppose same-sex marriage 49 – 42 percent, but only 25 percent say it is “extremely important” or “very important” in deciding how they will vote for president. President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage makes them less likely to vote for him, 24 percent say. Another 14 percent say more likely, while 60 percent say it won’t affect their vote."
One thing keeping Obama somewhat comfortably ahead in Virginia is his support from women. The president leads women voters there 51 to 35 percent, with men going for Romney 49 to 44 percent. Below are a few more data points:
Virginia voters are divided 48 – 47 percent in their approval of the job Obama is doing, and split 49 – 47 percent on whether he deserves a second term in the Oval Office.
By a 50 – 44 percent margin, Virginia voters have a favorable opinion of Obama and say 80 – 16 percent that he is a likable person.
Romney gets a split 39 – 37 percent favorability, as voters say 61 – 28 percent that he is a likable person.
Virginia voters say 55 – 28 percent that Obama would do a better job than Romney on same-sex marriage.