President Obama has stretched out a 4-point lead in the crucial battleground of Ohio, Public Policy Polling (PPP) said Sunday.

Obama leads Mitt Romney 51 percent to 47 among likely voters, the Democratic-leaning pollster said.

PPP had found Obama with a 1-point edge last week, but said the president had consolidated his support among Democrats and narrowed Romney’s lead among independents.

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Ohio has turned out to be one of — if not the most — closely watched states in this year’s presidential campaign. Both Obama and Romney would appear to have a difficult path to 270 electoral votes without the Buckeye State, and the two campaigns have flooded the state with advertisements and visited frequently.

The PPP poll also comes the same day that a poll from a consortium of Ohio newspapers found the president and Romney locked in a tie, at 49 percent apiece. Suffolk and Rasmussen also found the race tied in recent days.

But other polls, from Time and CNN, show Obama ahead, with a lead similar to what PPP found.



According to PPP, likely voters are roughly split in their opinions on both Obama and Romney, with 51 percent of voters approving of the president and 47 percent having a positive view of the former Massachusetts governor.


Obama also held a lead among those who said they had already cast their vote, and had the trust of more voters on both the economy and foreign affairs.

Romney, meanwhile, held a 50 percent to 46 edge among independent voters.

Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDem: Ex-lawmaker tried to pin me to elevator door and kiss me Two months later: Puerto Rico doesn’t have power, education or economy running again On Capitol Hill, few name names on sexual harassment MORE (R-Wis.), has been barnstorming across Ohio throughout the weekend. Romney himself joined up with Ryan on Sunday, after Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of scheduled events in another key swing state, Virginia.

Obama had been scheduled to campaign in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday. But the storm has forced Obama to bow out of the event, though Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenObama tweets birthday message to Biden: 'The best vice president anybody could have' The Hill's 12:30 Report Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny MORE and former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonBill Clinton distributes relief supplies in Puerto Rico In Washington and Hollywood, principle is sad matter of timing Mika Brzezinski: Bill Clinton needs to apologize or stop talking MORE are still expected to appear.

The PPP poll also found Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownScott Garrett poses real threat to EXIM Bank, small businesses Class warfare fight erupts over tax bills Senators Hatch, Brown have heated exchange on GOP tax plan MORE (D-Ohio) opening up a 53-42 lead over his challenger, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, as he seeks a second term.

PPP, which uses automated telephone calls, surveyed 718 likely voters in Ohio from Friday to Sunday. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.7 percent.