Obama solidifies lead over Romney, ahead by five points: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:33pm EDT

1 of 5. U.S. President Barack Obama reaches for some fries as he holds a round table with first time voters at OMG Burger in Miami, Florida September 20, 2012. Sitting with Obama are University of Miami students Emily Young (C) and Maximo Sole.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama maintains a lead of 5 percentage points over Republican Mitt Romney as he solidifies his advantage in the U.S. presidential race, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday.

Obama leads Romney among likely voters by a margin of 48 percent to 43 percent, the daily online tracking poll showed. Obama has led the poll since September 7, shortly after the Democratic convention.

"First it was a bump and then it was a post-convention bump and then it was the remainder of the bump, and now it's just a lead," Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.

Obama led Romney by double-digit margins on a range of personal attributes, from likability to whether he will protect American jobs to whether he appears presidential. Romney only led on the question of whether he was a "man of faith," by 43 percent to 34 percent.

Obama's lead has changed little over the past week as Romney has suffered a series of setbacks - most notably the Monday release of a secretly recorded video that showed the Republican candidate dismissing Obama supporters as welfare recipients with no sense of personal responsibility.

The video has dominated headlines but is unlikely to sway independent voters who will pick their candidate based on the state of the economy, Clark said. As voters conclude the economy is moving in the right direction, however tentatively, they appear to be moving toward Obama.

Clark said she expects the polls to tighten a bit but gives Obama a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of winning the November 6 election.

The poll surveyed 2,078 registered voters and 1,437 likely voters between September 16 and September 20.

The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of 2.9 percentage points for likely voters and 2.5 percentage points for registered voters.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Jackie Frank)

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