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A big new Pew poll, hot off the presses:

Consequently, Obama’s overall advantage – he leads 51% to 42% among registered voters – does not narrow significantly when looking only at those most likely to vote. Among 2,192 likely voters, Obama leads Romney, 51% to 43%.
Will update as I dig into the poll.

11:39 AM PT: Favorability:

Romney’s favorability also has risen, from 37% in July to 45% currently. But more (50%) continue to view Romney unfavorably. No previous presidential candidate has been viewed more unfavorably than favorably at this point in a presidential campaign in Pew Research or Gallup September surveys going back to 1988.

11:40 AM PT: Foreign Policy:

And the survey, conducted amid an outbreak of violence in the Middle East and shortly after the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, shows that Obama has a wide edge when it comes to foreign affairs and national security. Far more voters see Obama as a strong leader and as the candidate voters believe would use good judgment in a crisis. Voters also express more confidence in Obama than Romney to deal with foreign policy generally, as well as problems in the Middle East.

11:41 AM PT: Enthusiasm:

The new survey, which began a week after the Democratic convention ended, finds that Democratic engagement in the 2012 election has spiked, and the engagement gap evident earlier in the campaign has largely disappeared. Democratic voters are now as likely as Republicans to say they have given quite a lot of thought to the election and are following campaign news as closely. Democratic voters also are as committed to voting, and as certain of their vote, as are their GOP counterparts.

11:43 AM PT: A wash on the economy:

The nation’s economic situation continues to be Romney’s best friend in this campaign. While trailing on most issues, he runs about even with Obama as the candidate best able to improve the job situation, and there is little indication that voters are feeling better about economy. Just 12% rate national economic conditions as excellent or good. Just 25% say the economy is recovering, while a 46% plurality still thinks it will be a long time before it recovers.

Despite these gloomy opinions, the economy has not turned into a clear advantage for Romney. Almost the same number express confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it comes to fixing the economy (52%); as say the same about Romney (49%).

11:45 AM PT: Demographics:

The survey finds that overall patterns of voter support for Obama and Romney have changed little over the course of the campaign. Obama holds a 56% to 37% lead among women registered voters, but only runs about even among men (47% Romney, 46% Obama). Voters younger than 30 continue to support Obama by a wide margin (59% to 33%). Voters 30 to 49 favor Obama by a 52% to 41% margin; older voters are more evenly divided.

Romney draws broad support from white evangelical Protestants. Race and ethnicity remain key correlates of candidate support: 92% of black voters support Obama, as do 69% of Latinos, compared with 43% of white non-Hispanics. Among whites, Romney runs better among white men and white working class voters than among women and white college graduates.

Jesus...that Latino and Women number is just FATAL. Absolutely brutal.

11:52 AM PT: Number of swingers small:

Only 22% of registered voters (and 18% of likely voters) can be classified as swing voters (undecided, only leaning toward a candidate, or say there is a chance they might change their mind).

Four years ago, 27% of voters were still open to persuasion at this point in the campaign. Between 1992 and 2000, about three-in-ten voters in September were not yet certain about their choice.

As has been pointed out by NBC's pollsters, these folks aren't gonna vote.

11:54 AM PT: Expectations:

Roughly half (53%) of voters think that Obama is most likely to win the election this fall, about double the number (24%) who think Romney has the advantage. Obama has had a wide lead over Romney on this measure all year. At this point in 2008, the race seemed far more competitive to voters, 39% said Obama was most likely to win and 39% said McCain. But Obama had gained significant ground by October, when 61% of voters said he was most likely to win.

A slim majority of Republicans (54%) say Romney is going to win while 22% think Obama is most likely to win and 24% are unsure. By comparison, 83% of Democratic voters say Obama is most likely to win. Independents see Obama as more likely to win by about two-to-one (45% vs. 23%).

Among Romney supporters, about half (53%) say he is most likely to win; by comparison, 82% of Obama supporters expect their candidate to win. Among swing voters, far more expect Obama than Romney to win (50% vs. 12%); 39% are unsure.

Just remember this...people like voting for a winner. A vote is a very selfish thing, as I've noted before. It is a self validator.
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