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Obama closing with a 4-point lead

The following is cross-posted from a DCorps e-blast (survey questionnaire here, graphs here):

The final national survey for Democracy Corps shows Obama ahead with a 4-point lead in the presidential race, 49 to 45 percent (actually, 3.8 points to be exact). This represents a slight improvement since our last poll, which fielded before the final presidential debate, when we had Obama ahead by 2 points among all voters but tied among the smaller likely electorate. With the enthusiasm gap narrowed and Obama almost back to 2008 levels of support with the new Democratic base of unmarried women and minorities, the President has brought this back to the contours that gave him the lead before the debates - and that is enough to win, especially since he has a 7-point lead in the 12-state battleground for the presidency.

Obama closes this race with more voters saying they approve of him and the direction he is taking the country. More than half of all likely voters (52 percent) approve of the President's job performance and warm feelings toward him are up 3 points. This survey also finds more optimism about the country--42 percent now say the country is headed in the right direction and warm feelings about the economy are up 3 points.

Romney still has an enthusiasm advantage: 59 percent of his voters say they are following the race very closely, compared to 52 percent of Obama's. But as we have seen in some other polls, Obama's voters have become much more certain of their preference - Obama 'loyalists' are up 4 points to 42 percent - reflecting a 5-point advantage over Romney in loyalist support.

Romney maintains a 3-point advantage on the economy and has kept Obama's youth vote under 60 percent. He is winning two-to-one among white non-college voters, with Obama's vote at 32 percent and below 2008. Romney has a 4-point lead among independents.

Despite the day-to-day battles, Romney is being pushed back by his own party's brand: Obama has a 7-point advantage on warm feelings over Romney (53 percent to 46 percent); the Democratic Party is 7 points more popular than the Republican Party; and the Democrats in Congress have a 6-point advantage over the Republican Congress in favorability(39 to 33 percent).

The keys to Obama's lead going into tomorrow's vote include:

· The new Democratic base (Rising American Electorate) gives Obama 65 percent (4 points short of 2008).

· Unmarried women are now voting 66 percent for Obama (4 points short of 2008).

· Obama's higher approval is pushed up by a 20-point advantage on 'having the better temperament to deal with a natural disaster.' Two-thirds are more confident of the government's ability to handle a natural disaster now compared to Katrina.

And, for the record, voters reached on a cell phone supported Obama by 10 points, while the landline respondents gave Obama only a 1-point lead.