Poll: Obama leading Romney 47-42 in Iowa

A new poll shows President Obama with a strong lead in Iowa, two days before election day.

The latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows the president with a 47-42 lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney in the key battleground state. 

The poll shows little movement from a late September Iowa poll which put Obama above Romney at 49-45.

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Forty-two percent of likely voters say they have already cast their ballots, though, which pollsters suggest may make it difficult for Romney to overcome the president’s edge on election day. 

Obama leads among early voters by 22 points, while Romney holds an 8-point edge with those who say they will cast their ballots on Tuesday.

The president does best with union households, topping Romney by a commanding 31 points, with younger voters, where he is up 17 points, seniors, who prefer him by 12 points, and among female voters who give him an 11-point edge.

Romney does best with evangelical voters, who give him a 26-point edge, married mothers who tilt to Romney by 18 points. Romney’s edge with men, though, does not match Obama’s with women, with the GOP nominee up 3 among male voters.

Romney has made the economy a centerpiece of his pitch to voters, arguing that he will better boost job growth, but Iowa voters seem unconvinced and still back Obama by one point on the economy.  Asked who would best fix the economy, likely Iowa voters tap Obama over Romney by 45-44. Romney, though, gets marks for tackling the deficit 44 to 41.

On handling relations with other countries, Obama is preferred 51 to 38.

Voters also see Iowa’s economic picture improving.  Forty-eight percent say the nation is on the right track, with 49 who say it is on the wrong track. Still that figure shows a boost for Obama, when last month’s poll showed 54 percent wrong track.

Ahead of election day, 65 percent say they are “inspired and optimistic,” with 24 percent “angry and pessimistic.”

Fifty-two percent Obama “cares the most about people like you” to 37 for Romney. Obama also gets higher marks for being honest at 48-38 and for being a stronger leader at 50-42. 

Voters, however, say Romney would do better at bringing Republicans and Democrats together in Washington by a 43-37 margin. Seventeen percent said neither candidate would be able to do so.

The poll was conducted from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 and has a 3.5-percent margin of error.