President Obama continues to hold a modest lead over Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania according to a new Quinnipiac poll. The poll has Obama with 46 percent to Romney at 40 percent. This is a slight improvement for Romney since last month when the same poll had it Obama 47 percent to Romney 39 percent.

While this Pennsylvania poll is slightly closer than other recent ones, all of them show Obama with the lead. It is unlikely Obama will lose the state barring a wave election, but this poll does highlight the basic dynamics of the overall race.

Obama’s advantage is that he is better liked as a person and viewed more positively. By a 77 – 18 percent voters say Obama is a likable person, compared to 58 – 29 percent margin for Romney. Similarly, Obama has a positive net favorable rating, 49 favorable – 44 unfavorable, while Romney’s favorable rating is negative, 35 favorable – 42 unfavorable.

Despite the huge likeability gap, what is keeping the race close is that Romney holds a solid advantage on the number one issue, the economy.  About 49 percent of voters think Romney would do a better job with the economy, and just 41 percent think Obama would. That is the largest advantage on the economy Quinnipiac has registered for Romney in all their Pennsylvania polling. It’s a number that must really scare the Obama campaign.