Poll: Obama stretches Ohio lead to 4 points

President Obama has stretched out a 4-point lead in the crucial battleground of Ohio, Public Policy Polling (PPP) said Sunday.

Obama leads Mitt Romney 51 percent to 47 among likely voters, the Democratic-leaning pollster said.

PPP had found Obama with a 1-point edge last week, but said the president had consolidated his support among Democrats and narrowed Romney’s lead among independents.

Ohio has turned out to be one of — if not the most — closely watched states in this year’s presidential campaign. Both Obama and Romney would appear to have a difficult path to 270 electoral votes without the Buckeye State, and the two campaigns have flooded the state with advertisements and visited frequently.

The PPP poll also comes the same day that a poll from a consortium of Ohio newspapers found the president and Romney locked in a tie, at 49 percent apiece. Suffolk and Rasmussen also found the race tied in recent days.

But other polls, from Time and CNN, show Obama ahead, with a lead similar to what PPP found.

According to PPP, likely voters are roughly split in their opinions on both Obama and Romney, with 51 percent of voters approving of the president and 47 percent having a positive view of the former Massachusetts governor.

Obama also held a lead among those who said they had already cast their vote, and had the trust of more voters on both the economy and foreign affairs.

Romney, meanwhile, held a 50 percent to 46 edge among independent voters.

Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanRNC chairman: Ryan one of 'brightest stars' in Republican Party Gingrich: 'Of course' we can afford to have president with split personality Could a President Clinton heal a divided nation? MORE (R-Wis.), has been barnstorming across Ohio throughout the weekend. Romney himself joined up with Ryan on Sunday, after Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of scheduled events in another key swing state, Virginia.

Obama had been scheduled to campaign in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday. But the storm has forced Obama to bow out of the event, though Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAmerica’s Eastern European mess Huckabee to Biden: Trump can land a 'face kick' The Trail 2016: Election night cliffhanger MORE and former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonWhat would a Hillary Clinton presidency look like? 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race Bill Clinton: We're entering era that will 'make the 90s look like small potatoes' MORE are still expected to appear.

The PPP poll also found Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownDem senator praises US steel after car crash Lobbying World Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs MORE (D-Ohio) opening up a 53-42 lead over his challenger, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, as he seeks a second term.

PPP, which uses automated telephone calls, surveyed 718 likely voters in Ohio from Friday to Sunday. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.7 percent.