Poll: Obama leads Romney by 9 points

A new poll released Friday puts President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by 9 points.

According to the Fox News poll, Obama takes 49 percent to Romney's 40 nationally.

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The Fox News poll follows two others released this week, from CNN-ORC and Reuters-Ipsos, that gave Obama a 7-point lead over Romney. Both the Fox and CNN polls point to a jump in support for Obama among independents. According to the Fox News poll, Obama's support among that voting bloc went from a 4-point lead in its last survey to 11 percentage points in this one.

Recent polls also show Romney's unfavorability rating climbing. The Fox News poll found 46 percent with an unfavorable opinion. In contrast, Obama earned a positive opinion from 54 percent surveyed. The poll also found Obama with a 49 percent job approval rating.

Better news for Romney is that the poll found voters closely divided on which candidate could be trusted to improve the economy. Obama took 43 percent to Romney's 46. But Obama's argument on this subject seems to be convincing more people than Romney's, as his percentage on this question has grown since last month's Fox poll while Romney's has remained consistent. In the CNN poll, Obama led on the question.

The margin of sampling error for the poll was 3 percentage points.