PPP's newest Iowa poll finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by 7 points in the state, 51-44. Obama's advantage has increased by 5 points since PPP's last poll of the state in late August when he led just 47-45.
The biggest change in the last month has been significant deterioration in Mitt Romney's image. His favorability has dropped a net 14 points from -1 at 47/48 to -15 at 40/55. His 47% comments last week appear to be hurting him more in Iowa than most places. 42% of voters in the state say they made them less likely to vote for him, compared to only 24% who consider them a positive. Overall 51% of voters consider his comments to have been inappropriate to 42% who thought they were ok.
PPP's conducted polls in three swing states- Iowa, Florida, and Colorado- both before the Democratic convention and after Romney's 47% comments. Obama's standing has improved by 3 points each in Florida and Colorado, and 5 points in Iowa.
Obama's further consolidated his party base over the last month and now leads 91-7 with Democrats, compared to 87-10 in August. We're also seeing a more Democratic likely electorate this time around. That's a function of the fact that 62% of Democrats say they're 'very excited' to vote this fall compared to only 55% of Republicans who say the same. For most of the cycle there's been a perceived pro-Republican enthusiasm gap but now it seems like that's flipped with Democrats saying they're more excited about the election.
Digging into the crosstabs Obama leads with both women (53-44) and men (49-44) in Iowa. He's up 47-43 with independents. He also leads with every age group. His wide, 2008 like, lead with young voters at 64-29 is notable, as is his 49-47 advantage with seniors.
Iowa's looked competitive for much of the year and Obama's approval numbers there still aren't great, but unless Romney can seriously rehabilitate his image in the next six weeks it looks like the state may slip out of his reach.
Full results here