Obama’s lead narrows in Wisconsin


A new poll on the presidential race in Wisconsin shows President Barack Obama’s lead narrowing from seven points to two points over the past two weeks.

The numbers come from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling. They show a bump following the first debate for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Two weeks ago, Romney trailed Obama by seven points in Wisconsin, a critical swing state. Now, according to PPP, Romney has pulled to within two points. The polling shows Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 47 percent.

The poll found that 61 percent of voters think Romney won the first debate and 49 percent of Wisconsin voters now have a positive opinion of the GOP nominee.

A positive for Obama is that he is holding steady with independents and has a lead of 9 points in that group.

The post-debate survey found that it triggered a conversation about funding for public broadcasting – 51 percent of Wisconsin voters support federal funding, 33 percent do not. About 80 percent of Democrats, 22 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of independents support federal funding for public broadcasting.

On the favorability scale, Big Bird is more popular with Democrats (58 percent) than Republicans (37 percent).

On other questions: Paul Ryan’s favorable rating is 50 percent; voters are more likely to trust Obama on foreign policy; the percentage of voters who describe themselves as “very conservative” is twice the percentage of those who are “very liberal;” the percentage of Democrats, Republicans and independents is around 33 percent each.

For the survey, PPP contacted 979 likely Wisconsin voters from Oct. 4-6. The poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political group. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.