PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - President Obama continues to hold a commanding lead over Mitt Romney in Rhode Island with six days to go before voters head to the polls, according to an exclusive WPRI 12 poll released Wednesday night.
The new survey of 601 likely voters in Rhode Island shows Democrat Obama at 54% and Republican Romney at 33%, with 8% still undecided. That's a slight decrease in support for Obama from the September WPRI 12 poll, which showed him at 57% and Romney at 33%.
"Obama is winning Rhode Island comfortably," WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming said, adding that enthusiasm for Obama had diminished in Rhode Island as it has elsewhere since the president's widely panned performance during the first debate in Denver.
The telephone interview poll with 601 likely Rhode Island voters was conducted Oct. 24 to 27 by Fleming & Associates of Cumberland, R.I. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus approximately 4 percentage points on statewide questions and 5.66 points on questions in a congressional district.
Rhode Island hasn't backed a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide victory. Obama won 63% of the vote in the state when he ran against John McCain in 2008, which was the most lopsided result locally since Hubert Humphrey took 64% in 1968.
The two candidates are winning the vast majority of their political parties' members in Rhode Island, with Obama winning 90% of Democrats and Romney winning 92% of Republicans. Obama has slight edge among independents, 41% to 39%, but 14% of them remain undecided.
Beyond his party, Obama's strongest support in Rhode Island comes from voters ages 18 to 39 (61%), women (59%) and voters ages 60 and older (55%). Romney's biggest backers are men (39%), independents (39%) and voters ages 40 to 59 (38%).
Among 300 likely voters surveyed in the 1st Congressional District, Obama takes 55% and Romney takes 32%, with 9% undecided. Among 301 likely voters in the 2nd District, Obama takes 54% and Romney takes 35%, with 7% undecided.
Obama's approval rating in Rhode Island is also largely unchanged over the last month. The poll shows 54% of voters rate the president's job performance as excellent or good, while 44% rate it as fair or poor.
Ted Nesi (
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