The Washington Times - June 7, 2012, 08:31AM

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is closing the gap with President Obama in Virginia but still trails the incumbent by 5 percentage points, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Mr. Romney trails Mr. Obama 47 percent to 42 percent in the battleground state, the poll found. In March, before Mr. Romney captured the GOP nomination, Mr. Obama held an 8-point lead.

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The survey showed that selecting Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell as Mr. Romney’s running mate would have almost no impact on the race there.

Virginia voters oppose same-sex marriage 49 percent to 42 percent, and 24 percent of those polled said Mr. Obama’s support for gay marriage would make them less likely to vote for him.

The gender gap is prominent in Virginia, with Mr. Obama leading among women 51 percent to 35 percent and Mr. Romney leading among men, 49 percent to 44 percent.

“President Barack Obama remains ahead in Virginia, but he is hearing Gov. Mitt Romney’s footsteps,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “His lead over Romney is built upon a continuing gender gap that favors him — essentially the president stays close among men while he is very strong among women. For Romney to take the lead, he will need to reverse the gender gap.”