Obama, Romney Neck and Neck in Key Swing States
In a general election matchup President Obama and Mitt Romney are running neck and neck in three of the largest swing states according to a new Quinnipiac poll. The poll found that Obama had a small lead in Ohio and Pennsylvania, while Romney leads in Florida. From Quinnipiac:
FLORIDA: Obama 42 – Romney 45
OHIO: Obama 45 – Romney 42
PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 44 – Romney 43
I’m not surprised to see that Obama is doing worst in Florida among the three swing states. Obama has trouble with older white voters and more importantly Florida has been hit very hard by the economic downturn. While Ohio has an official unemployment rate of 9.1 percent and Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is only 8.3 percent, in Florida unemployment is in the double digits at 10.6 percent. For those two reasons I suspect that the Obama campaign is eventually going to need to write off Florida and come up with a path to 270 without it.
The poll also found that Obama would crush any other Republican nominee in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In both states Obama has at least a nine point lead over Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.
This is good news for both Obama and Romney. For Romney, having yet another poll showing that he is the Republican’s best and possibly only chance to beat Obama should make the electability argument to primary voters and donors. It is also good news for Obama because if Romney doesn’t get the nomination, Obama’s re-election path would become surprisingly easy in spite of how bad the economy still is.