COLUMBUS (AP) - President Barack Obama has a nine-point lead over Mitt Romney in swing state Ohio, according to a mail poll published today by The Columbus Dispatch.
The newspaper said the poll shows Democrat Obama leading Republican Romney 51 percent to 42 percent.
The poll shows the president ahead among independent voters by three points and attracting slightly more GOP support than Romney is getting from Democrats.
The first Dispatch poll had the two even at 45 percent just before the Republican National Convention in late August.
Experts say as many as 40 percent of Ohio's voters will cast ballots before Nov. 6.
Five percent of Ohio voters said they remain undecided.
The poll of 1,662 randomly selected likely Ohio voters Sept. 19 through Saturday has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.
In the past week, two other surveys showed the president crossing the 50 percent mark among likely voters in Ohio. A Washington Post poll found Obama ahead 52 percent to 44 percent among those most likely to turn out, and a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll showed a 10-point Obama lead among definite voters.
For the first time, most of Ohio's 7.8 million registered voters have been mailed an absentee-ballot application.