UTICA, N.Y. -- A new Zogby Poll of 860 likely voters nationwide, conducted online September 21 and 22, shows President Barack Obama opening up an 8 point lead over GOP challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Among likely voters, Obama now leads 49% to 41%; when leaners are factored in and minor party candidates are included, Obama's lead widens to 9 points, 49%-40%, with 2% each voting for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party's Dr. Jill Stein, and 1% for Constitution Party Virgil Goode.

The poll has a margin of sampling error of +/-3.4 percentage points.

Obama has a 14 point lead among independents (46% to 32%), 33 points among moderates (60% to 27%), 36 points among 18-29 year olds (65%-29%), 11 points among 30-49 year olds (48% to 37%), and is down among 50-64 year olds by only 2 points (45%-47%) and 3 points among voters over 65 (44%-47%). The President maintains his huge leads among Hispanics (68% to 26%) and African American voters (93%-0%).

Romney's lead is only 50% to 39% among white voters and 48% to 40% among evangelicals. Obama continues his lead among NASCAR fans (49% Obama to 42% Romney).

Pollster John Zogby: "I won't say that things are spinning out of control for Romney, but I can say that things are not spinning in control. He is off message, losing ground, not connecting with his own base, being severely chastised (and even dismissed) by GOP pundits who should be his friends. There are ups and downs in presidential campaigns. For Romney, this is a real down."

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