President Obama leads presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the three battleground states of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, where voters approve of the president’s new immigration policy and rate the candidates about even on handling the economy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney 45 percent to 41 percent in Florida, 47 percent to 38 percent in Ohio and 45 percent to 39 percent in Pennsylvania, the survey said. The same poll on May 3 found Mr. Obama leading by eight points in Pennsylvania, with Florida and Ohio too close to call.
Since 1960, no candidate has won the presidency without carrying at least two of these three states.
“The president’s overall margin is built on his big lead among women, younger voters and African-Americans,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The poll found that Mr. Obama’s announcement on June 15 that he has suspended deportation of young illegal immigrants is being received well in the three states. Florida voters support the initiative 58 percent to 33 percent, Ohio voters back it by a margin of 52 percent to 38 percent, and Pennsylvania voters favor it by 51 percent to 41 percent.
On the economy, Mr. Romney appeared to be losing ground in the poll. Pennsylvania voters split evenly on which candidate would handle the economy better, while Ohio voters gave Mr. Obama the edge by 47 percent to 42 percent, and Florida voters favored Mr. Romney by 46 percent to 44 percent.