(CNN) – A new poll released Wednesday indicates President Barack Obama has a six-point advantage over Mitt Romney in Michigan.
Forty-eight percent of likely voters in the state back the incumbent president, while 42% support the GOP presidential nominee, according to a new EPIC-MRA poll commissioned by the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ, a CNN affiliate.
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While the six point margin falls within the poll's sampling error, the difference represents a wider gap between the two candidates than when the poll was last conducted after the first presidential debate. An EPIC-MRA survey released on October 8 showed Obama with a three point edge.
The president, however, seems to have regained momentum in Michigan, where Romney's father served as governor in the 1960s.
Among independent voters, Obama has a 42%-31% margin over Romney, while nearly 30% say they would choose a third-party candidate or stay undecided, the poll shows.
The Wolverine State also serves as home to a large sector of the auto industry, a part of the economy that has seen intense focus in the presidential election. Obama's campaign portrays the president as the industry's savior thanks to his role in overseeing the auto bailout.
But Romney's team faults the Obama administration for mishandling the bailout, saying taxpayers will still be responsible for a large chunk of the federal loan. Of late, Romney has taken up a new attack line, saying the bailout has allowed some automakers to expand manufacturing overseas and shift jobs away from the U.S. The auto companies, General Motors and Chrysler, have staunchly denied such accusations.
Results from Wednesday's poll indicate the auto bailout played a big part in voters' minds as they made their ballot decisions, with half of respondents saying the federal loan was a deciding factor. Nearly two-thirds of them were Obama supporters.
EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn told the Detroit Free Press that the auto issues "solidified things for Obama" in the state.
Obama's campaign confirmed Tuesday it would soon go up with television ads in Michigan, following a recent advertising push by the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, which has invested millions in air time in the state.
With 16 electoral votes, Michigan is rated as "leaning Democratic" on CNN's Electoral Map. However, recent polls that show a tighter race than expected, combined with the Detroit News' endorsement for Romney, have caused some politics observers to revisit the state.
But a senior Obama campaign adviser was so confident about the president's chances in Michigan that he vowed Wednesday to shave his trademark mustache if Democrats lose.
In the survey, both Romney and Obama fare well on the question of enthusiasm. About three-quarters of supporters for both candidates say they were enthusiastic about voting.
The GOP nominee has 46%-44% edge over the president when it comes to who would best handle the economy, according to the poll. Obama fared better on other issues, including Social Security and Medicare, health care and Afghanistan.
For the survey, EPIC-MRA interviewed 600 likely voters in Michigan by telephone from October 26 through October 28. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
– CNN's Kevin Bohn and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.
I know it seems like the GOP crowd is removed from reality when it comes to poll interpretation. But they have good reason to believe they have the upper hand. The secret is in the turnout. The democrat base is much less motivated than the republican base. And the republicans usually win the close races, as in 2000 and 2004. They sometimes even seem to pull out an upset win, as in 1980. So they have every right to skew the polls based on they having a more reliable base.