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Quinnipiac poll: Democrats gaining ground while Obama no longer in negative territory

A poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University shows President Obama making slight gains to pull himself from negative territory.

In an earlier poll on Oct. 5, Obama was given a negative 41-55 percent split, but falls within the margin of error in today’s offering at 47-49 percent. When asked if Obama deserved reelection, 52 percent of survey respondents previously said “no,” but are now willing to give the Democrat a second look.

Obama has made gains against his potential GOP rivals:

  • 47 – 42 percent over Mitt Romney, compared to a 46 – 42 percent Romney lead October 5;
  • 52 – 36 percent over Rick Perry, up from a 45 – 44 percent tie last month;
  • 50 – 40 percent over Herman Cain, who was not included in a matchup last month;
  • 52 – 37 percent over Newt Gingrich, who was not matched last month.

“Obama seems to be improving in voters’ eyes almost across-the-board,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems – whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive.

“Whether this is a blip, perhaps because of the death of Moammar Gadhafi and the slight improvement in some of the economic numbers, or the beginning of a sustained upward move in his popularity isn’t clear and won’t be for some time. Nevertheless, the movement allows the White House a sigh of relief, for the president’s approval had been stuck in the low 40s for some time and even a temporary upward move is good news for the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”

Over the past month the president’s approval among men improved from 60 – 36 percent disapproval to 53 – 43 percent disapproval today; white voters shift from 62 – 34 percent disapproval to 56 – 40 percent disapproval. Women shift from a 51 – 46 percent disapproval last month to a 50 – 46 percent approval today.

Much the same is true when voters are asked about whether the president deserves a second term. Results among men shift from a 58 – 37 percent ‘no’ to 52 – 43 percent ‘no’ and among whites he goes from 62 – 34 percent ‘no’ to 57 – 39 percent ‘no.’

The news is also good for Cain, who leads the GOP presidential field with 30 percent, followed by Romney with 23 percent, Gingrich with 10 per cent and Perry with 8 percent. No other member of the field tops 7 percent, the pollsters reported.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 25 and 31 on both land lines and cell phones and surveyed 2,294 registered voters.

Looking beyond the presidential contest, respondents were asked if they would vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate for U.S. House in their district if the contest were held that day. Overall, respondents picked the Democrat, 42 to 34 percent. When those responses were broken down by annual income levels, however, respondents who reported making $100,000 per year or less were strongly in the Democratic camp, while those making above those levels trended more Republican.

Overall, however, the latest results continue to show a slip in popularity by House Republicans. In March, for instance, 40 percent of respondents said they would vote for the GOP and only 37 percent said they would vote for the Democrat. The numbers have not only flipped since that survey, but Democrats have built momentum.

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