The Washington Times - September 17, 2012, 08:50AM

President Obama has a 5-point lead in the crucial battleground state of Virginia in a new survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling — the same margin he enjoyed last month before both the Democratic and Republican National conventions.

Mr. Obama leads Republican nominee Mitt Romney 51 percent to 46 percent, and 50 percent of voters approve of his job performance compared with 48 percent who disapprove.

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“Barack Obama continues to look like the definite favorite in Virginia,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP. “And it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Obama would win Virginia but lose the election.”

Voters trust Obama more both on the economy (49 percent to 47 percent) and foreign policy (51 percent to 45 percent). Forty-one percent approve of how Mr. Romney reacted to the situation in Libya last week, compared with 48 percent who disapproved.

Nevertheless, Mr. Romney enjoys a 2-point lead among independents, at 47 percent to 45 percent. When Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Constitution Party candidate and former Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are added to the ballot, Mr. Obama’s lead becomes a narrower but still statistically significant 4 points, at 49 percent to 45 percent.

Thirty-five percent of those polled were self-identified Democrats, 32 percent were Republicans, and 33 percent were independent/other. Twenty-eight percent identified themselves as “very” or “somewhat” liberal, while 41 percent said they were “very” or “somewhat” conservative.

PPP surveyed 1,021 likely voters in the state from Sept. 13 to 16, with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.