The Obama Lead Continues To Hold

September 26, 2012, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 9/22/2012) The President continues to lead his Republicans challenger in the presidential race — as he has since the conventions. That lead has remained steady: in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, 48% of registered voters favor Democratic President Barack Obama, 43% support Mitt Romney, the Republican.

The gap in enthusiasm between Romney and Obama supporters, which was particularly evident throughout July and August, has diminished markedly as of late. Although slightly more Romney supporters (45%) describe themselves as "extremely enthusiastic" about casting a ballot than Obama voters (41%) do, Obama voters make up the gap once those who are "very enthusiastic" are included.

Whereas 86% of Obama voters expect the President will definitely or probably be re-elected, only 53% of Romney voters think their candidate will win.

The race continues to be about the incumbent. More than half of those voting for Mitt Romney admit they aren’t really voting for Mitt Romney. 56% of Romney voters say they are mainly voting against the President. By contrast, 81% of Obama supporters are voting for their choice.

President Obama is much more liked than Romney in the eyes of the voting public. Just 30% of registered voters say they dislike the President as a person, compared with 44% who feel that way about Romney.

Overall, the President is viewed more favorably than not among registered voters: 52% hold a favorable view of him. For Romney, the balance is reversed: 55% of registered voters see him unfavorably.

Age and education differences in support continue. Voters under 45 support the President; voters 45 and older favor Romney (among senior citizens, Romney leads the President 59% to 39%). Obama holds a 18-point lead with college graduates, with the race much tighter among those without a college degree. Less well-off voters support the Democrat. The contest is even among political independents, the group that will eventually determine the outcome. In this week’s poll, men are evenly divided between Romney and the President; women give Obama a 10-point lead.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association