U.S. President Barack Obama high-fives with a boy in the crowd who greeted him upon arrival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, October 17, 2012. Obama is campaigning in Iowa and Ohio on Wednesday following the second presidential debate against Mitt Romney on October 16. (Photo : Reuters)
The latest Quinnipiac University poll on New Jersey voters revealed that President Barack Obama leads Republican presidential candidate 51 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. A previous poll found that the president led by a slightly smaller margin, 51 percent to 44 percent.
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The president counts on the support of both women (55 percent to 39 percent) and men (48 percent to 47 percent). Romney, on the other hand, counts on the support of independent voters (51 percent to 42 percent).
According to the poll, only 8 percent of New Jersey likely voters expect to change their minds in the weeks leading up to the November 6 election. This includes 9 percent of Obama supporters and 7 percent of Romney supporters, the poll found.
New Jersey voters place a higher favorability rating on President Obama (54 percent to 40 percent) than on Romney (43 percent to 46 percent). Obama also has a 51 percent to 45 percent job approval rating from New Jersey voters.
Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, explained, "It's still a blue state and the color didn't fade after the first presidential debate. President Barack Obama's lead among likely voters is still in the single digits. Not overwhelming, but it's enough and doesn't seem to be changing."
"And New Jerseyans say their minds are made up," Carroll added. "Nine tenths of both Obama and Romney supporters say they won't switch in the next 21 days."
Democrats also enjoy a 18-point lead in the Senate race, with Sen. Robert Menendez leading State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, 55 percent to 37 percent. The poll found, however, that 16 percent of likely voters said they might change their minds about whom they support. This includes 18 percent of Menendez supporters and 13 percent of Kyrillos supporters.
The Democrat enjoys the support of men (52 percent to 42 percent), women (58 percent to 33 percent) as well as Independent voters (49 percent to 39 percent).
Carroll noted, "Who is Joe Kyrillos? State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos has a bit of an improvement in name recognition since his debates with Sen. Robert Menendez, but more than half of New Jerseyans still don't know him well enough to decide if they like him or dislike him."
"Normally, a challenger, even an unknown, can gain a little ground on the incumbent in the final weeks of a campaign. That doesn't seem to be happening for Kyrillos," Carroll added.
President Obama and Romney just have one more debate together before the election in November. The last presidential debate, which will cover foreign policy, will be held on October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
WATCH QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY EXPLAIN THE POLL RESULTS: