Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the presidential election heats up over the summer, the latest Quinnipiac Poll has the race swinging towards President Barack Obama.
In the new Q-Poll of the swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, President Obama is ahead of Romney by 4 points, 9 points, and 6 points respectively. In Florida, Obama beats Romney 45-41 percent; in Ohio Obama is ahead of Romney 47-38 percent; and in Pennsylvania Obama leads 45-39 percent.
“President Barack Obama has decent margins over Gov. Mitt Romney in Ohio and Pennsylvania and a smaller advantage in Florida. If he can keep those leads in all three of these key swing states through election day he would be virtually assured of re-election,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The three swing states have historically played an integral role in selecting the president of the United States. Since 1960, no candidate has ever won the White House without carrying at least two of the three states Quinnipiac surveyed.
One of the most sought after parts of the electorate, the Hispanic vote, has tilted in a large way towards Obama.
In Florida, Hispanic voters support Obama by a 56-32 percent margin, which is an increase of seven percent from the last time Quinnipiac surveyed voters.
Obama leads 85-6 among African-American voters while white voters back Romney 50-35 percent. Obama is leading by seven points among women, but men are evenly divide between the two candidates.
The candidates were in statistical tie when it came to who would do a better job with the economy. But on immigration, voters backed Obama’s immigration policies by a 58-33 percent margin.
Complicating matters for Romney’s chances in Florida is Republican governor Rick Scott. The Q-Poll found that for the 16th straight month, voters disapproved of the job Governor Scott is doing by a 48-35 percent margin.
If Florida had a strong Republican governor, it would make things easier for Romney politically because he could make appearances with a popular governor and improve his standing in the state.
Elsewhere in the poll, Quinnipiac found the U.S. Senate race between Democratic Senate incumbent Bill Nelson and GOP challenger, Rep. Connie Mack, was a statistical dead heat. Nelson leads by one percent, but that’s well within the poll’s margin of error.
“The U.S. Senate race between Bill Nelson and Connie Mack remains a dead heat with 17 percent of voters still undecided, an unusually large number,” said Brown.