Poll: Romney gaining ground in Ohio

President Obama's lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney in Ohio narrowed to just one percentage point, tumbling from the five-percentage-point advantage Obama had a week ago, according to a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Saturday.

The poll found Obama now has a 49-to-48-percent advantage over Romney among likely voters in the battleground state.

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PPP said Romney was able to tighten the gap in Ohio due to his seven-percentage-point lead over Obama among independents and a boost in Republican voters reporting that they plan to vote for the former Massachusetts governor. Roughly 90 percent of the Ohio Republican base said they would support Romney, up from 85 percent who gave the same answer a week ago.

The president also lost his advantages over Romney on two top issues: the economy and Libya. Romney leads Obama in Ohio on the economy by four percentage points. On Libya, Romney's lead was two percentage points.

Half of Ohioans disapproved of Obama's job performance, compared with 48 percent who said they approved of it.

But there were some bright spots for the president in the latest poll. Obama is winning the early vote in the critical swing state. The 21 percent of Ohioans who have already cast their ballots said they voted for Obama by a 66-to-34-percent margin.

However, 52 percent of Ohio voters who have yet to vote said they planned to support Romney, while 44 percent said they will support Obama.

Voters in the battleground state said they believed Obama won the second debate on Tuesday by a 48-to-39-percent margin. Obama also has a 14-percentage-point lead over Romney among female Ohio voters and 52 percent of voters said they trust the president more than his GOP challenger on women's issues.

But with 17 days to go until Election Day, the race is still anyone's game, according to Dean Debnam, president of PPP.

“Our Ohio poll reflects the new reality of this election - every battleground state is looking like a toss up,” Debnam said in a statement. “Our most recent polls in Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin have all found the candidates within 2 points of each other.”

The new poll also found that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) leads GOP challenger Josh Mandel by 5 percentage points. Support for Brown dipped slightly from last week and the senator narrowly holds a one-percent lead over Mandel in his approval rating.

The PPP poll of 532 likely Ohio voters has a 4.3-percentage-point margin of error.

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