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Obama Leads by Healthy Margin in Poll

In an example of why you can’t put too much stock in a single poll, the latest CNN/ORC survey found the opposite of yesterday’s Gallup matchup between Romney and Obama. The president leads, and by a healthy margin:

President Barack Obama holds a nine-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney thanks in part to the perception that the president is more likeable and more in touch with the problems facing women and middle class Americans, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday also indicates a large gender gap that benefits Obama, but the public is divided on which candidate can best jump-start the economy.

According to the poll, 52 percent of registered voters say if the presidential election were held today, they would vote for the president, with 43 percent saying they would cast a ballot for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is making his second bid for the White House.

Allahpundit picks out some oddities from the crosstabs:

Fourteen percent of Tea Party supporters are leaning towards … O? Not staying home, mind you, but actually stepping up for four more years of Obamanomics? C’mon. …

Obama won women by 13 points in 2008 so a 16-point gender gap is not, alas, out of the realm of possibility. Explain to me, though, how he wins men by three — which would be larger than the spread between him and McCain — after four years of a grinding “mancession.” Again, c’mon.

Exactly. I have no trouble believing a gender gap is responsible for Obama’s lead, as women have historically gone for Democrats, and recent polling has shown that so far, this year is no exception. But Obama’s lead with men contradicts recent polls and what you’d typically expect to see, so unless it’s replicated in other surveys, it sounds like it’s a hiccup in the data.

For more, take a look at the CNN/ORC crosstabs here. And for a good, related read, check out Nate Silver’s 12 commandments for reading general election polls – and why you shouldn’t treat them like the primary ones.


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