President has 9-point margin in Pa.
President Barack Obama holds a significant lead over his Republican adversary Mitt Romney in three swing states, including Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac/CBS/NY Times poll released this week.
The poll also shows that while likely voters are split on which candidate would do the most to help the economy, most have a more sympathetic view of Obama and prefer his policies.
“If today were Nov. 6, … Obama would sweep the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania and — if history is any guide — into a second term in the Oval Office,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
With a nine-point margin, Pennsylvanians showed the most support for Obama with likely voters, choosing Obama 53 percent to 42 percent for Romney. Obama carried Pennsylvania in 2008.
Similarly, Obama led Romney in Ohio with 50 percent of voters standing behind the president and 44 percent supporting Romney. In Florida, Obama led 51 to Romney’s 45 percent. Obama also carried Ohio and Florida in 2008.
No candidate since 1960 has won the White House without winning at least two of the three.
Brown said an improving economy gave Obama an edge.
‘The president is running better in the key swing states than he is nationally,’ he said. ‘Part of the reason may be that the unemployment rate in Ohio is well below the national average. In Florida, it has been dropping over the past year, while nationally that has not been the case.’
In a deeper look at the trends influencing the presidential contest, the poll also asked participants to rate the two men’s policies and gauge their emotional response to each.
In all three states, essentially Romney broke even with the president when participants were asked who would do better handling the economy.
In Pennsylvania, 48 percent said Obama would do better compared to 44 for Romney. The margin in Ohio was narrower, with 46 percent saying Obama would do a better job with the economy compared to 45 for Romney. In Florida, Romney edged out the president 47 percent to 45.
‘The saving grace for … Romney is that he roughly breaks even with the president on who is best on the economy,’ Brown said.
Majorities in each of the three states supported the president’s plan to raise taxes on incomes over $250,000. Poll findings showed support at 58 - 37 percent in Florida, 60 - 37 percent in Ohio and 62 - 34 percent in Pennsylvania.
“Obama is ahead by just about every measure in the Keystone State. He’s got a double-digit lead; his voters seem more committed to him, and Pennsylvanians like him more,’ said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Obama’s policies would hurt rather than help them, Pennsylvania voters said 37 to 23 percent, while 37 percent see no difference. Romney would hurt rather than help, voters told pollsters 32 to 26 percent, while 37 percent saw no difference.
Pennsylvanians gave Obama higher favorability ratings.
Obama received a 53 to 42 percent favorability rating, while Romney garnered a negative 39 to 47 percent favorability rating.
Among Obama voters, 59 percent strongly favor him while 33 percent like him with reservations and 7 percent say their vote is against Romney. Among Romney voters, 41 percent strongly favor him while 37 percent like him with reservations and 22 percent say they are voting against Obama.
Pennsylvania women voters back Obama 59 to 35 percent, while men go 50 percent for Romney and 47 percent for Obama. Independent voters back Obama 58 - 36 percent.
In another political note, the same poll found that more Pennsylvanians disapprove of Gov. Tom Corbett than approve with a disapproval rating of 45 to 38 percent.