Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by eight points nationally, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center. Obama has 51 percent of support from the likely voters polled, compared to 43 percent who support Romney.

The Pew poll also found that Obama supporters are more positive about their candidate than those supporting Romney; 68 percent who favor Obama say they are "strongly" supporting him, while only 56 percent of those who favor Romney say the same thing. And while 74 percent of those Obama supporters say they will be voting "for Obama" rather than against his opponent, only 45 percent supporting Romney say they are voting "for" him, while 52 percent say they are voting "against" Romney's opponent.

Here's more from Pew:

At this stage in the campaign, Barack Obama is in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates. With an eight-point lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters, Obama holds a bigger September lead than the last three candidates who went on to win in November, including Obama four years ago. In elections since 1988, only Bill Clinton, in 1992 and 1996, entered the fall with a larger advantage.

Not only does Obama enjoy a substantial lead in the horserace, he tops Romney on a number of key dimensions. His support is stronger than his rival’s, and is positive rather than negative. Mitt Romney’s backers are more ardent than they were pre-convention, but are still not as enthusiastic as Obama’s. Roughly half of Romney’s supporters say they are voting against Obama rather than for the Republican nominee. With the exception of Bill Clinton in 1992, candidates lacking mostly positive backing have lost in November.

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