President Barack Obama shouldn't be worried about losing Connecticut this fall as he runs for re-election, but the race for the state's seven electoral votes is shaping up to be a lot closer than Obama's 2008 race against John McCain.
Obama leads presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney 51 percent to 43 percent in a poll released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling. That's a slight increase in the two-point lead Obama held in September, when he led 47 percent to 45 percent, but a major slip from 2008, when the president crushed McCain 61 percent to 38 percent.
The poll shows Obama earning votes from 83 percent of Democrats, who make up more than 40 percent of the state's electorate. The president also attracts support from 15 percent of Republicans, but trails Romney 47 percent to 40 percent among unaffiliated voters.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who was endorsed early in the primary season by most of Connecticut's GOP establishment, led Obama 48 percent to 36 percent among unaffiliated voters in September 2011.
The poll showed shifts in both Romney and Obama's approval ratings since the September poll, which was conducted more than three months before Romney went before GOP primary voters.
Romney was viewed favorably by 41 percent of state voters in September and unfavorably by 42 percent. In the poll released Wednesday, the percent of those viewing Romney favorably stayed the same while those viewing him unfavorably shot up to 53 percent.
Obama has an approval rating of 50 percent and a disapproval rating of 46 percent, a jump from September, when 48 percent of voters approved of his job performance and 49 percent disapproved.
"Obama doesn't actually have to worry about losing Connecticut," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a news release. "But his single-digit lead there certainly shows he's not as strong as he was in 2008."
Among people rumored to be under consideration for the GOP's vice presidential nominee, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is viewed the most favorably by Connecticut voters and gives Romney the best chance to win the state.
Rice, the secretary of state during President George W. Bush's second term, is viewed favorably by 57 percent of Connecticut voters and unfavorably by 32 percent, while 11 percent were not sure.
With Rice on the ticket, Romney would cut Obama's lead to five percentage points -- 48 percent to 43 percent.
Obama's lead in Connecticut would be 51 percent to 41 percent with Jindal on the ticket, 51 percent to 40 percent with Pawlenty on the ticket and 49 percent to 39 percent with Portman on the ticket, the poll found.