President Obama heads toward Election Day with a slight lead over Mitt Romney in the pivotal swing state of Iowa, according to the Iowa Poll sponsored by the Des Moines Register.
Obama had 47 percent to 42 percent for Republican Mitt Romney in the poll of 800 likely voters, conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 2. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
All four of Iowa's major newspapers endorsed Romney last weekend. But Obama had the edge in a range of areas, including early voting. He was ahead of Romney by 22 points among the 42 percent of people who said they had already voted. Romney held an 8-point lead among those planning to vote Tuesday.
Iowa's unemployment rate is 5.2 percent, well below the national rate of 7.9 percent, and the poll found evidence of economic optimism in Iowa. While 49 percent of likely voters said the country is on the wrong track, that's down from 54 percent a month ago. Nearly the same number -- 48 percent -- said things are going well. That's higher than the national average amid a slow recovery from recession.
The Register endorsed Romney last weekend, as did the Quad City Times, the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Sioux City Journal. Pointing to gridlock during Obama's first term, the Register said Romney would be better able to work with Congress.