President Obama has opened up an 8-percentage-point lead in Pennsylvania, but Republican Mitt Romney has pulled even in Ohio and Florida thanks to a drop in support for the president, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll of the three key swing states released Thursday.
Pennsylvania voters preferred Obama, 47 percent to 39 percent in the survey, helped by a large advantage for the president among women voters.
Romney had 44 percent to Obama’s 43 percent support in Florida, with a similar statistical tie in Ohio, where Obama was nominally in the lead with 44 percent, to 42 percent for Romney.
In Florida, Quinnipiac found a 6-point plunge in the president's support compared to its survey late last month. Obama's support dropped 3 points in Ohio.
In the last Quinnipiac Swing State Poll March 28, Obama was ahead of Romney 49 percent to 42 percent in Florida, 47 percent to 41 percent in Ohio, and 45 percent to 42 percent in Pennsylvania.
At least 67 percent of voters in each state say the economy is in a recession, but at least 51 percent of voters in each state say the recovery has begun. Voters in Florida and Ohio say Romney would do a better job on the economy. Pennsylvania’s were divided on that question.
“Romney’s ability to cut into the president’s leads in Ohio and Florida reflects two changes in the political environment: First, since he is now the de facto nominee, Romney is no longer being attacked by his fellow Republicans, who are closing ranks behind him,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac survey, said in a statement. “Second, voter optimism about the economy has leveled off, reflecting economic statistics over the past month and the public reaction to them.”
Results are subject to a statistical error margin of plus or minus 2.9 percent, based on interviews with 1,169 Florida voters, 1,130 Ohio voters and 1,168 Pennsylvania voters between April 25 and May 1.