Obama leads in Wisconsin, Democrat holds Senate edge

President Obama owns a healthy lead over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin while Democrat Tammy Baldwin continues to hold a narrow edge in the state's U.S. Senate race, according to a new poll of Wisconsin voters.

The Marquette University Law School survey underscores why many analysts have moved the Dairy State and its 10 electoral votes from the toss-up category just months ago to a likely pickup for the president.

The survey, conducted at the end of September, found Obama held a 53% to 42% edge over Romney among likely voters. That was down slightly from 54%-40% in a mid-September survey, but still robust.

In the Senate race, Baldwin, a veteran member of the U.S. House, was the choice of 48% to 44% for Republican Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor. That result was significantly tighter than the 9-point margin for Baldwin the poll found earlier in the month.

The poll of 894 likely voters found a significant gender gap in the voting preference for the presidential and Senate races.

Among women voters, 61% said they favored Obama and 36% favored Romney. Men preferred Romney but by a smaller, 49%-44% margin.

In the Senate race, Baldwin held a 54%-38% edge among women, while Thompson led among men by 50%-41%.

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