A new Quinnipiac poll shows Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 46 – 42 percent. Going inside the crosstabs of the poll, here are some instant key takeaways.
1. It’s not just independent voters who are providing the cushion for Obama, it’s independent female voters. Someone needs to come up with a catch name for this cohort, because just as ‘Nascar Dads’ and ‘Soccer Moms’ decided previous elections, it’s Florida’s independent female voters who may very well decide this election.
2. Men are essentially tied (44 – 45 percent) on Obama vs. Romney, but women break 49 – 39 percent for the President.
3. In addition to women, Obama is holding together the coalition that elected him four years ago. He carries African-Americans 91 – 5 percent and voters 18 to 34 years old 55 – 28 percent.
4. The Associated Press’ Gary Fineout takes the long view, noting that in 2009, Obama’s favorable rating was at 69%; today it is at 46%.
5. Romney’s unfavorable ratings jumped up by seven points since May; his unfavorable rating is at 42%.
It’s hard not to notice that this poll represents a ten point swing, from Romney up six in May to Obama up four in June. Pollster Peter Brown has a possible explaination: (T)he last … poll was on the heels of the president’s backing of gay marriage, which might have hurt him at that time.”