A new poll shows President Obama widening his lead to in the swing states of Ohio and Florida and maintaining a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania, just as he and GOP nominee Mitt Romney are scheduled to campaign Wednesday in the Buckeye State — one that no Republican has won the White House without.
In that all-important battleground, Mr. Obama has increased his lead from a 6-point advantage in August to 10 points, at 53 percent to 43 percent, among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday. Mr. Obama leads by 9 points, 53 percent to 44 percent, in Florida, up from a 49 percent to 46 percent lead from last month. And his lead in Pennsylvania increased nominally, from an 11-point lead in early August to a 12-point lead this month, at 54 percent to 42 percent.
Fifty-one percent of voters in each state also say now that Mr. Obama would do a better job than Mr. Romney on the economy. The president trailed on the issue last month in Florida, 48 percent to 45 percent, was even in Ohio, and held a 48 percent to 44 percent lead in Pennsylvania.
The gender gap is pronounced in each state; Mr. Obama has a 21-point lead among women in Pennsylvania, a 25-point lead in Ohio, and a 19-point lead in Florida.
Nevertheless, there are some silver linings for Mr. Romney. Among likely voters in Florida and Ohio paying a lot of attention to the campaign, Mr. Obama leads by just 4 points in Florida, at 51 percent to 47 percent. In Ohio, the margin narrows to one among that bloc, at 49 percent to 48 percent. Mr. Romney also holds a 3-point lead among independents in Florida, at 49 percent to 46 percent, and a 1-point lead in Ohio, at 47 percent to 46 percent.
Democrats also significantly outnumbered Republicans in party identification in the three states. Likely voters polled in Florida were 36 percent Democrat, 27 percent Republican and 33 percent independent. In Ohio, the party breakdown was 35 percent Democrat, 26 percent Republican and 35 percent independent. In Pennsylvania, it was 39 percent Democrat, 28 percent Republican and 27 percent independent.
The survey polled 1,196 likely voters in Florida, 1,162 likely voters in Ohio and 1,180 likely voters in Pennsylvania from Sept. 18-24. The margin of error in each state is 3 percentage points.