Poll: Obama ahead and favored to win debate, Romney has edge among independents

President Obama is leading Mitt Romney nationally in a new poll out Tuesday, though the survey shows the Republican nominee edging out the incumbent among independents.

The Quinnipiac University poll also had voters giving Obama high odds for victory in the upcoming presidential debates, the first of which will be held Wednesday. Voters in the poll said they expect Obama to win, 54-28 percent -- though most do not think the debates will change their minds.

The poll once again found Obama buoyed by his support among women -- female likely voters chose Obama over Romney by an 18-point margin. Nationally, Obama was ahead 49-45 percent.

But Romney continued to have the advantage among men. And among crucial independents, he was leading 47-45 percent.

On the issues, those surveyed trusted Romney more than Obama to deal with the budget deficit. But on everything from health care to national security to the economy, they picked Obama -- though on the economy, Obama was picked over Romney by just 1 percentage point.

The poll of 1,912 likely voters was taken Sept. 25-30. It had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.