It’s a good morning for Barack Obama‘s re-election campaign, with two new polls out that show the President opening up a big lead in key swing states, despite a tight national race. A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning shows Obama pulling ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida — three traditional battleground states with a lot of electoral college votes. The poll comes on the heels of a new NBC/WSJ survey that shows Obama leading Romney among voters in 12 swing states.
In the Quinnipiac survey, Obama’s lead is largely built off of support for the President among females, young people, and black voters, indicating that, despite speculation, Obama has so far managed to get his winning 2008 coalition to support his 2012 re-election bid.
Obama’s biggest lead is in Ohio, which many political-watchers view as the swing state to watch in 2012. The Quinnipiac survey shows Obama leading Romney 47 per cent to 38 per cent in the Buckeye State, with a huge advantage with women and independent voters, key constituencies that could swing the election this fall. Among female voters in Ohio, Obama leads Romney 50% to 35%, while 45% of independents favour Obama, compared to 36% for Romney.
Obama’s advantage among female voters was even greater in Pennsylvania, where women back him over Romney 48% to 36%. Overall, Obama leads Romney 45% to 29% in Pennsylvania, although his favorability rating tipped negative, and voters were split on which candidate would do a better job fixing the economy.
Obama’s lead was smallest in Florida, where he edges out Romney 45% to 41%. But his advantage among Latino voters has ballooned since his recent immigration policy shift — Obama now leads Romney 56% to 32% among Latinos, compared to 49% to 39% in a Quinnipiac taken just before the announcement.
Overall, the numbers are pretty grim for Mitt Romney. As we have noted before, the race will likely come down to just a handful of battleground states that have the potential to swing the election. Today’s polls indicate that, despite national perceptions that the race is tightening, Romney still has a lot of ground to make up in the states where it matters, and with the voters who matter there.
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