PPP's newest Iowa poll finds Barack Obama's lead in the state declining all the way to two points. He's at 47% to 45% for Mitt Romney. In July we found Obama ahead 48-43 and in May it was 51-41.
Iowa makes yet another swing state where voters don't really care for either Obama or Romney. Obama's approval numbers are particularly poor with only 45% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove. The fact that he has a small lead in the state despite his under water approval speaks to at least some voters regarding this election as a choice rather than a referendum. Voters aren't big on Romney either with 47% rating him favorably to 48% with an unfavorable opinion.
If wind energy ends up being a defining issue for Iowa voters that will be good news for Obama's prospects in the state. 54% of voters support the tax credit for wind energy production companies to only 26% who oppose it. Among independents support is 58/25. 68% of voters say they consider wind energy to be an important issue, including 29% of voters who say that it's 'very important.' When asked which Presidential candidate they trust more on wind energy Obama beats Romney 47-37. In a state that looks like a sheer toss up this could end up being a defining issue.
A lot of attention has been paid to Republicans regaining the party registration advantage in Iowa this year. The reason Obama continues to lead the state anyway is a large lead among unaffiliated voters. On this particular poll he has a 49-36 edge with them and that finding has been consistent in our polling- he was up 46-38 with them on our July poll and 54-34 in May.
The gender gap shows up in a major way in Iowa. Romney leads 51-40 with men, but that's not enough to offset Obama's 53/40 advantage with women. There's also a pretty big generational gap with Obama leading 50-40 among voters under 45, but Romney ahead 48-45 with voters over 45.
There's not much doubt at this point- Iowa's a swing state and the landscape there looks a whole lot more like 2000 or 2004 than it does 2008. Obama's unpopularity gives the GOP a great chance at reclaiming the state.
Full results here