Obama Leads McCain in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Poll Shows
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Democrat Barack Obama is leading Republican John McCain in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, the first time he’s had an advantage in all three electoral battleground states, a Quinnipiac University poll found.
Obama got a boost in support after securing the Democratic nomination in the final round of primaries June 3 and following the departure of Senator Hillary Clinton from the race, said Peter A. Brown, assistant director for the Hamden, Connecticut, university’s polling institute.
“Obama is certainly not out of the woods, but these results are a good indication that he enters the summer slightly ahead in the race to be the next president,” Brown said in a statement.
Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio together have 68 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency and have swung between both parties in recent presidential elections. No candidate has won the presidency since 1960 without taking at least two of the three.
Obama is ahead of McCain by a statistically significant margin in each state. He leads:
§ 47 percent to 43 percent in Florida
§ 48 to 42 percent in Ohio
§ 52 to 40 percent in Pennsylvania
Both candidates are making appeals to independent voters in their campaigns. Obama, an Illinois senator, is ahead of McCain among self-identified independents in Florida and Pennsylvania and runs 2 percentage points behind the Arizona senator among independents in Ohio.
Bush, Iraq War
McCain is suffering because the approval ratings for fellow Republican President George W. Bush are 27 percent or less in each of the states, and because by a two-to-one margin voters say the Iraq War was a mistake, according to the poll.
Still, voters are split over whether the U.S. should begin an immediate withdrawal of troops, as Obama says, or stay until Iraq is stabilized, as McCain argues.
“The only good news for McCain in these numbers is that despite voters’ views on the war, he is holding his own with them about where to go from here,” Brown said.
The economy was listed as the top issue in the election by majorities in all three states, followed by the war.
The poll was conducted between June 9-16.
§ 1,453 likely voters in Florida, 1,396 in Ohio and 1,511 in Pennsylvania.
The margin of error was plus or minus 2.6 percentage points in Florida and Ohio and 2.5 percentage points in Pennsylvania.
Contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at
By Mark Drajem/Bloomberg