August 1, 2012 - Obama Hits 50% In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll Finds

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FLORIDA: Obama 51 - Romney 45
OHIO: Obama 50 - Romney 44
PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 53 - Romney 42

President Barack Obama hits the magic 50 percent mark against Gov. Mitt Romney among likely voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, with wide support for his plan to hike federal income taxes on upper-income voters, according to a Quinnipiac University/ CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll released today.

This is the first measure of likely voters in these swing states and cannot be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters. Matching Obama against Romney in each of these key states - no one has won the White House since 1960 without taking at least two of them - shows:
  • Florida: Obama edges Romney 51- 45 percent;
  • Ohio: Obama over Romney by a slim 50 - 44 percent;
  • Pennsylvania: Obama tops Romney 53 - 42 percent.
Support for President Obama's proposal to increase taxes on households making more than $250,000 per year is 58 - 37 percent in Florida, 60 - 37 percent in Ohio and 62 - 34 percent in Pennsylvania, the survey by Quinnipiac/CBS/The Times finds.

"If today were November 6, President Barack 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. "The president is running better in the key swing states than he is nationally. 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."

"All this matters because half of all likely voters say the economy is the most important issue to their vote, far ahead of any other issue. The saving grace for Gov. Mitt Romney is that he roughly breaks even with the president on who is best on the economy," Brown added.

"The president's strength among women is the dominant dynamic fueling his lead. It is this dynamic that argues for Romney to pick a female running mate. On the other hand, the president's lead in Ohio and Florida also argues for the selection by Romney of Sen. Rob Portman or Sen. Marco Rubio since he can't win the White House without the Buckeye and Sunshine states and presumably these home state senators would be the most helpful."

Among voters who pick Romney, 10 percent each in Florida and Ohio and 9 percent in Pennsylvania say they might change their mind. Among Obama supporters, 11 percent in Florida, 13 percent in Ohio and 15 percent in Pennsylvania say they might change their mind.

Florida

Obama leads 51 - 44 percent among women likely voters in Florida while men go 50 percent for the Democrat and 46 percent for the Republican.

Both candidates run strong among their own party's voters while independent voters split with 47 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney.

Among likely voters backing Obama, 65 percent strongly favor him while 24 percent like him with reservations and 10 percent say they pick Obama out of dislike for Romney.

Among Romney voters, 49 percent strongly favor him while 29 percent like him with reservations and 19 percent say they are voting against Obama.

Obama gets a 50 - 46 percent favorability rating, while Romney gets a split 41 - 42 percent score.

The economy is the most important issue in the election for 52 percent of Florida voters, with 22 percent who pick health care and 9 percent who cite the budget deficit.

Romney would do a better job on the economy, 47 percent of Florida likely voters say, while 45 percent pick Obama. Obama is better on health care, voters say 50 - 42 percent.

If Obama is reelected, his economic policies will hurt rather than help their financial situation, Florida voters say 38 - 23 percent, with 36 percent saying it won't matter. Romney gets a 31 - 30 percent split on whether he will help or hurt, with 34 percent saying no difference.

Presidential candidates should release several years of tax returns, 53 percent of voters say; 19 percent want to see one or two years of returns and 23 percent say don't release returns.

In Florida's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson leads U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, the Republican challenger 47 - 40 percent. Independent voters go 43 percent for Mack and 40 percent for Nelson.

Florida voters disapprove 52 - 36 percent of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing.

"One of the few positives for Romney in Florida is that voters are split on whether his election would help or hurt their pocketbook, but by 38 - 23 percent they say the president's re- election would leave their wallets thinner,' Brown said.

Ohio

Women Ohio likely voters back Obama 58 - 37 percent, while men back Romney 52 - 42 percent. Independent voters go 47 percent for Obama and 44 percent for Romney.

Among Obama voters, 60 percent strongly favor him while 31 percent like him with reservations and 9 percent say their vote is against Romney.

Among Romney voters, 42 percent strongly favor him while 35 percent like him with reservations and 22 percent say they are voting against Obama.

Obama has a 51 - 45 percent favorability rating. Romney gets a 40 percent favorable rating and a 43 percent unfavorable score.

The economy is the most important issue in the election for 48 percent of Ohio voters, with 20 percent who pick health care and 12 percent who cite the budget deficit.

Obama would do a better job on the economy, 46 percent of Ohio likely voters say, while 45 percent pick Romney. Obama is better on health care, voters say 48 - 42 percent.

Obama's financial policies would hurt rather than help them personally, Ohio voters say 38 - 26 percent, while 34 percent see no difference. Romney would hurt rather than help, voters say 37 - 26 percent, while 34 percent see no difference.

Presidential candidates should release several years of tax returns, 51 percent of voters say; 18 percent want to see one or two years of returns and 28 percent say don't release returns.

In Ohio's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown leads State Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican challenger 51 - 39 percent, with a 49 - 38 percent lead among independent voters.

Ohio voters approve 47 - 38 percent of the job Gov. John Kasich is doing.

"This is our first likely voter survey of Gov. John Kasich, so we can't compare it to earlier surveys of registered voters," said Brown. "But the improvement in his approval rating is so big that it must be at least in part because of the improving economy in the state."

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania women voters back Obama 59 - 35 percent, while men go 50 percent for Romney and 47 percent for Obama. Independent voters back Obama 58 - 36 percent.

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.

Obama has a 53 - 42 percent favorability rating, while Romney has a negative 39 - 47 percent favorability rating.

The economy is the most important issue in the election for 54 percent of Pennsylvania voters, with 20 percent who pick health care and 8 percent who cite the budget deficit.

Obama would do a better job on the economy than Romney, Pennsylvania likely voters say 48 - 44 percent. The president is better on health care, voters say 51 - 41 percent.

Obama's policies would hurt rather than help them, Pennsylvania voters say 37 - 23 percent, while 37 percent see no difference. Romney would hurt rather than help, voters say 32 - 26 percent, while 37 percent see no difference.

Presidential candidates should release several years of tax returns, 54 percent of voters say; 17 percent want to see one or two years of returns and 25 percent say don't release returns.

In Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Robert Casey Jr. leads coal mine owner Tom Smith, the Republican challenger, 55 - 37 percent, with a 61 - 33 percent lead among independent voters.

Pennsylvania voters disapprove 45 - 38 percent of the job Gov. Tom Corbett is doing.

"President Barack 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.

"Sen. Bob Casey seems to be sailing toward reelection as his Republican coal mine owner opponent Tom Smith fights a name recognition battle and fails to gain any traction."

From July 24 - 30, Quinnipiac University, in cooperation with CBS News and The New York Times, surveyed:
  • 1,177 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent;
  • 1,193 Ohio likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent;
  • 1,168 Pennsylvania likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.
Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.
For individual statewide crosstabs call (203) 582-5201 or click: Crosstabs by State

1. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Obama or Romney? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                51%    50%    53%
Romney               45     44     42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1
DK/NA                 4      4      4
 
 
1a. (If candidate chosen q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS......
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q1
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Mind made up         89%    87%    87%
Might change         10     12     12
DK/NA                 -      1      1
 
 
1b. (If Obama q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....
                     OBAMA Q1.........
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Mind made up         89%    86%    84%
Might change         11     13     15
DK/NA                 -      1      1
 
 
1c. (If Romney q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....
                     ROMNEY Q1........
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Mind made up         90%    89%    90%
Might change         10     10      9
DK/NA                 -      1      1
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            41%    40%    39%
Unfavorable          42     43     47
Hvn't hrd enough     14     15     11
REFUSED               3      3      3
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            50%    51%    53%
Unfavorable          46     45     42
Hvn't hrd enough      2      2      2
REFUSED               2      2      3
 
 
4a. (If Obama q1) Would you describe your support for Barack Obama as strongly favoring him, or do you like him but with reservations, or do you support him because you dislike Mitt Romney?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....
                     OBAMA Q1.........
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Strongly favor       65%    60%    59%
Like/Reservations    24     31     33
Dislike Romney       10      9      7
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
4b. (If Romney q1) Would you describe your support for Mitt Romney as strongly favoring him, or do you like him but with reservations, or do you support him because you dislike Barack Obama?
                     LIKELY VOTERS....
                     ROMNEY Q1........
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Strongly favor       49%    42%    41%
Like/Reservations    29     35     37
Dislike Obama        19     22     22
DK/NA                 3      1      1
 
 
5. If the election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Bill Nelson(FL)/Sherrod Brown(OH)/Bob Casey Jr.(PA) the Democrat and Connie Mack(FL)/Josh Mandel(OH)/Tom Smith(PA) the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Nelson(FL)/Brown(OH)/Casey Jr.(PA) or Mack(FL)/Mandel(OH)/Smith(PA)? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Democrat             47%    51%    55%
Republican           40     39     37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -
DK/NA                12      9      8
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Scott(FL)/John Kasich(OH)/Tom Corbett(PA) is handling his job as Governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve              36%    47%    38%
Disapprove           52     38     45
DK/NA                13     15     17
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve              48%    48%    49%
Disapprove           48     48     46
DK/NA                 4      3      4
 
 
8. In deciding who you would like to see elected President this year, which one of the following issues will be most important to you, national security, the economy, health care, the budget deficit, taxes, immigration, or something else?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
National security     3%     4%     3%
The economy          52     48     54
Health care          22     20     20
The budget deficit    9     12      8
Taxes                 5      5      6
Immigration           2      2      1
Something else        5      7      7
DK/NA                 2      2      2
 
 
9. Compared to past presidential elections, how would you describe your level of enthusiasm about voting in this year's presidential election; are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as usual?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
More                 32%    32%    29%
Less                 19     21     22
About the same       49     47     49
DK/NA                 1      -      -
 
 
10. Do you think the nation's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Better               26%    26%    20%
Worse                41     39     39
The same             32     34     39
DK/NA                 1      1      2
 
 
11. Do you think (Florida/Ohio/Pennsylvania)'s economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Better               23%    33%    16%
Worse                32     26     32
The same             43     40     49
DK/NA                 2      1      3
 
 
12. Would you say that Barack Obama cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes                  55%    55%    58%
No                   42     43     39
DK/NA                 3      2      3
 
 
13. Would you say that Mitt Romney cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes                  42%    38%    39%
No                   49     55     54
DK/NA                 9      7      7
 
 
14. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on - the economy, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                45%    46%    48%
Romney               47     45     44
DK/NA                 9      8      7
 
 
15. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on - health care, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                50%    48%    51%
Romney               42     42     41
DK/NA                 8      9      8
 
 
16. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on - national security, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                48%    50%    50%
Romney               44     41     40
DK/NA                 8      9      9
 
 
17. If Barack Obama is reelected, do you think his economic policies would help your personal financial situation, hurt your personal financial situation, or won't make a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Help                 23%    26%    23%
Hurt                 38     38     37
No difference        36     34     37
DK/NA                 3      1      3
 
 
18. If Mitt Romney is elected, do you think his economic policies would help your personal financial situation, hurt your personal financial situation, or won't make a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Help                 31%    26%    26%
Hurt                 30     37     32
No difference        34     34     37
DK/NA                 4      4      5
 
 
19. From what you have read or heard, does Mitt Romney have the right kind of business experience to get the economy creating jobs again or is Romney's kind of business experience too focused on making profits?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Right experience     42%    41%    42%
Focused on profits   48     50     51
DK/NA                10      9      8
 
 
20. Which comes closest to your view of Barack Obama's economic policies, A) They are improving the economy now, and will probably continue to do so, OR B) They have not improved the economy yet, but will if given more time, OR C) They are not improving the economy and probably never will.
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
A)Improving now      25%    24%    21%
B)Will improve       30     30     35
C)Will never improve 43     44     42
ECONOMY WORSE(VOL)    1      -      -
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
21. Do you think presidential candidates should publicly release several years of tax returns, or is releasing only one or two years of tax returns necessary, or don't you think it is necessary for presidential candidates to release any of their tax returns?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Several years        53%    51%    54%
One or two years     19     18     17
Not necessary        23     28     25
DK/NA                 5      3      4
 
 
22. In order to reduce the federal budget deficit, do you support or oppose raising income taxes on households making more than $250,000 per year?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Support              58%    60%    62%
Oppose               37     37     34
DK/NA                 6      3      3
 
 
23. How important will television campaign ads be to your vote for President this year, very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Very important       10%     8%     7%
Smwht important      14     14     14
Not so important     17     20     23
Not important at all 58     58     56
DK/NA                 -      1      -
 
 
24. Have you seen any commercials on television for Mitt Romney, or not? IF YES: Did most of Mitt Romney's television commercials spend more time explaining what Mitt Romney stands for, or did they spend more time attacking Barack Obama?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes/Explained        20%    21%    18%
Yes/Attacked Obama   62     62     51
No/Haven't seen       8      7     21
DK/NA                10      9     10
 
 
25. Have you seen any commercials on television for Barack Obama, or not? IF YES: Did most of Barack Obama's television commercials spend more time explaining what Barack Obama stands for, or did they spend more time attacking Mitt Romney?
                     LIKELY VOTERS...
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes/Explained        24%    28%    24%
Yes/Attacked Romney  57     55     50
No/Haven't seen       7      7     16
DK/NA                12     10     10
 

Additional info by state:
Florida: Crosstabs Demographic Summary
Ohio: Crosstabs Demographic Summary
Pennsylvania: Crosstabs Demographic Summary