The poll by Quinnipiac University of Connecticut also finds the president with an 18-point lead among women putting him ahead of Romney 49-45 percent among all likely voters.
The president leads Romney 56-38 percent among women and 94 percent to 2 percent among black voters, the Wednesday-through-Sunday poll of 1,912 likely voters found.
The poll carries a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
Among those polled, 93 percent said they planned to watch the presidential debates but 86 percent said they do not expect the candidates to say anything that would change their minds.
"Voters clearly are interested in the debates but skeptical that the events will make them reconsider their voting preference," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the university's polling institute.
Voters said they expect the president to win the debates over Romney 54 percent to28 percent.
The first debate is Wednesday night in Colorado.
Follow us on Twitter at @UPIDebates for complete UPI.com coverage of the 2012 Presidential Debates.