STORRS, Conn. – President Barack Obama has a narrow lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but the number of voters still unsure of their choice is shrinking as Election Day nears, according to results from The University of Connecticut/Hartford Courant Poll released Friday.

 The nationwide poll of likely voters shows Obama and Vice President Joe Biden with a 48 to 45 percent lead over Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. Just 6 percent of voters remain undecided.

“This poll underscores just how divided the electorate is right now,” said UConn Poll Director Jennifer Necci Dineen, a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Department of Public Policy. “Very few voters are still on the fence about these candidates. That suggests Obama and Romney have succeeded in getting their messages out, but it also means they’re going to have to work hard to get their core supporters excited about going to the polls.”

The poll came out of the field on the night of the second presidential debate, meaning most of the voters surveyed hadn’t seen that event when they responded to the survey.

“What’s interesting is that while the race is very close, most voters think President Obama will win, despite Mitt Romney’s strong performance in the first debate and subsequent surge of support,” Dineen said.

Forty seven percent of likely voters think Obama and Biden will prevail, compared to 33 percent who think Romney and Ryan will win.

Those numbers are similar to a University of Connecticut/Hartford Courant Poll released on Sept. 20, which showed that 52 percent of voters thought Obama would win, compared to 27 percent predicting a Romney victory.

A notable gender gap continues to exist between the candidates, with women favoring Obama 55 to 38 percent and men backing Romney 53 to 41 percent. Romney also does well with voters who attend religious services at least once a week, leading among them by a margin of 51 to 43 percent. But among voters who never attend religious services, Obama is leading 61 percent to 31 percent.

These findings are based on The University of Connecticut/Hartford Courant Poll.  The national sample of 1,023 randomly selected likely voters were interviewed by landline and cellular telephone between Oct. 11 and Oct. 16, 2012. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points for the entire sample, and larger for subgroups.

The data have been weighted by the number of adults in a household and the number of telephone numbers, land and cellular, at which adults in the household can be reached in order to equalize the chances of an individual adult being selected.  The data have also been weighted by the sex, race and level of education of the respondent based on the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census.

The University of Connecticut-Hartford Courant Poll is a joint effort between one of the nation’s top research universities and the oldest continuously published newspaper in America. The poll’s purpose is to provide unbiased opinion research into critical questions affecting both the state of Connecticut and the nation.


Download the data (PDF).