November 10, 2011 - Obama, Romney Tied In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Cain, Romney Duel For Gop Lead In All Three States

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Crosstabs and Trends by State

FLORIDA: Obama 42 - Romney 45
OHIO: Obama 45 - Romney 42
PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 44 - Romney 43


One year before the presidential election, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are running neck and neck in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the three states that for the past half-century have predicted the presidential winner, according to the first Quinnipiac University "Swing State Poll" of the 2012 cycle released today. The president leads the other top GOP contenders, although half the voters in each state say he does not deserve a second term. Since 1960, no candidate has won the presidency without carrying at least two of these three states.

Herman Cain and Romney lead the Republican primary pack in all three states, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

But when all voters - not just Republicans - are asked about Romney and Cain, voters are more comfortable with the idea of Romney as president. Romney is considered more honest and trustworthy and makes a more favorable impression, while Cain is viewed more unfavorably.

"Although President Barack Obama is running behind his 2008 showings in the three key swing states against Gov. Mitt Romney, he actually does better against the other GOP aspirants - including Herman Cain - than he did against Sen. John McCain," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "That may not be surprising given the president's substantial name recognition edge on any of his challengers."

"His wide lead over most of the field and his neck-and-neck race with Romney show that the dissatisfaction with the president as evidenced by his mid-40s percent job approval and weak 'deserves a second term' ratings hasn't translated into affection for his GOP challengers," Brown added.

"Questions about Herman Cain's behavior as head of the National Restaurant Association haven't derailed his candidacy so far, and he remains strong among Republicans. While the immediate effect hasn't been catastrophic, it's unclear whether the story will have legs that will make a larger dent in the 'Cain Train' as we get closer to the actual primaries. Nevertheless, there is a negative effect from the controversy on his standing among non-Republicans that gives him overall negative ratings on voter comfort level with him as president and whether he is honest and trustworthy. The gender gap is large as women in each state are more negative on Cain."

Florida

Pitting President Obama against possible Republican challengers shows:
  • Romney at 45 percent to Obama's 42 percent;
  • Obama edging Cain 45 - 41 percent;
  • Obama at 45 percent to House Speaker Newt Gingrich's 42 percent;
  • Obama over Texas Gov. Rick Perry 46 - 40 percent.
Cain leads the Republican primary field with 27 percent, followed by Romney at 21 percent, Gingrich at 17 percent and Perry at 5 percent, with no other candidate over 4 percent.

In a two-man race, Cain tops Romney 45 - 39 percent. There is a large gender gap as men back Cain 54 - 34 percent while women go with Romney 44 - 35 percent.

Florida voters disapprove 52 - 41 percent of the job Obama is doing and say 51 - 43 percent that he does not deserve reelection.

The economy is the most important issue in the 2012 presidential election, 55 percent of Florida voters say. Romney would do a better job on the economy, voters say 49 - 39 percent. Cain would do a better job, 45 percent say, compared to 42 percent for Obama.

Voters say 40 - 36 percent that Cain is honest and trustworthy compared to 51 - 28 percent for Romney.

A total of 39 percent of voters are "very comfortable" or "fairly comfortable" with the idea of Cain as president, compared to 50 percent who are very or somewhat comfortable with Romney. Cain gets a split 36 - 34 percent favorability rating, compared to Romney's 40 - 28 percent rating.

"Of these three swing states President Obama carried in 2008, Florida was the biggest surprise and had the closest margin," said Brown. "Florida is shaping up to be the closest swing state again in 2012 and it's a fair bet that a year from now, it will be the toughest of the Big Three for Obama to carry."

"If speculation that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida could be the GOP's vice presidential nominee proves correct, that would make the Sunshine State even a tougher sale for the president," said Brown.

Ohio

The 2012 presidential face-off in Ohio shows:
  • Obama at 45 percent to Romney's 42 percent;
  • Obama topping Cain 48 - 38 percent;
  • Obama beating Gingrich 49 - 37 percent;
  • Obama over Perry 48 - 36 percent.
In the GOP presidential race, Cain gets 25 percent to Romney's 20 percent, with Gingrich at 11 percent, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul at 9 percent and Perry tied with Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann at 4 percent each. Cain tops Romney head-to-head 47 - 39 percent.

Ohio voters disapprove 50 - 44 percent of the job Obama is doing and split 46 - 48 percent on whether he deserves reelection.

The economy is the top presidential campaign issue for 54 percent of Ohio voters and 45 percent of voters say Romney would do a better job on this issue, compared to 43 percent who pick Obama. Obama would do a better job on the economy than Cain, voters say 46 - 39 percent.

Voters split 38 - 37 percent on whether Cain is honest and trustworthy. Romney gets a 46 - 32 percent honesty rating.

Only 30 percent of Ohio voters are comfortable with the idea of Cain as president, while 39 percent are uncomfortable and 30 percent are undecided. Romney gets a 40 - 35 percent comfort score.

Romney has a 36 - 31 percent favorability, compared to Cain's split 30 - 32 percent.

"Although the data currently shows Ohio to be winnable for the president, there are many - including some top Democrats - who think it will be a tough job because the state is home to large numbers of blue-collar whites among whom Obama has always had problems," said Brown. "This week's voter repeal of the state law curbing collective bargaining, and the negative 36 - 51 percent job approval rating for Republican Gov. John Kasich, however, give the White House hope that the Buckeye State might not be out of reach."

Pennsylvania

The 2012 presidential matchups in the Keystone State are:
  • Obama 44 percent to Romney's 43 percent;
  • Obama tops Cain 48 - 38 percent;
  • Obama beats Gingrich 48 - 38 percent;
  • Obama bests Perry 47 - 38 percent.
In the Republican primary race, Cain and Romney are tied at 17 percent each, with native son Rick Santorum and Gingrich at 13 percent each and Perry and Paul at 5 percent each.

Going head to head, Romney gets 42 percent to Cain's 41 percent.

Pennsylvania voters disapprove 52 - 44 percent of the job Obama is doing and say 50 - 46 percent he does not deserve reelection.

Following the pattern, 53 percent of Keystone State voters say the economy is the most important issue and 45 percent say Romney would do a better job here, compared to 41 percent for Obama. Voters say 47 - 39 percent that Obama would handle the economy better than Cain.

Romney is honest and trustworthy, Pennsylvania voters say 50 - 26 percent. Cain fails the honesty test as voters say 41 - 32 percent he is not honest.

Only 30 percent of voters are comfortable with the idea of Cain as president, while 40 percent are uncomfortable, with 30 percent undecided. By a 44 - 31 percent margin, voters are comfortable with Romney. Cain gets a negative 28 - 35 percent favorability, compared to Romney's 36 - 30 percent positive score.

"In Pennsylvania, where Obama got his biggest win of the three swing states in 2008, he does no better against the GOP challengers," said Brown. "He won the Keystone State by double digits in 2008. But, even here his job approval ratings have been in the mid-40s or lower most of the year. Few expect that same double-digit margin if he carries the state next November. Interestingly, while the unpopularity of the Republican governors in Florida and Ohio might help the president there, in Pennsylvania chief executive Tom Corbett is doing a little better and might at the margins tip the scale the other way."

From October 31 - November 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 1,185 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent, including 513 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent;
  • 1,312 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent, including 443 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent;
  • 1,436 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent, including 579 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.
Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and nationwide as a public service and for research. .


For individual statewide crosstabs and trends call (203) 582-5201 or click: Crosstabs and Trends by State


1. (If Registered Republican) If the 2012 Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, and Herman Cain, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Perry                 5%     4%     5%
Gingrich             17     11     13
Romney               21     20     17
Bachmann              4      4      2
Santorum              1      1     13
Paul                  3      9      5
Huntsman              1      2      2
Cain                 27     25     17
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      2
DK/NA                16     20     21
 
 
2. (If Registered Republican) Suppose the primary came down to a choice between Herman Cain and Mitt Romney for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Cain                 45%    47%    41%
Romney               39     39     42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      3      3
DK/NA                11     10     12
 
 
3. If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Rick Perry the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                46%    48%    47%
Perry                40     36     38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      4      4
DK/NA                 8      9      9
 
 
4. If the 2012 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?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                42%    45%    44%
Romney               45     42     43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      3      3
DK/NA                 8      7      8
 
 
5. If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Herman Cain the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                45%    48%    48%
Cain                 41     38     38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      4      4
DK/NA                 8      8      8
 
 
6. If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Newt Gingrich the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                45%    49%    48%
Gingrich             42     37     38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      4      4
DK/NA                 8      7      8
 
 
7. Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            40%    36%    36%
Unfavorable          28     31     30
Hvn't hrd enough     29     32     32
REFUSED               3      2      2
 
 
8. Is your opinion of Herman Cain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            36%    30%    28%
Unfavorable          34     32     35
Hvn't hrd enough     29     36     36
REFUSED               1      2      1
 
 
9. Is your opinion of Rick Perry favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            22%    16%    17%
Unfavorable          42     40     39
Hvn't hrd enough     34     42     42
REFUSED               1      2      1
 
 
10. Is your opinion of Newt Gingrich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            34%    28%    28%
Unfavorable          39     44     42
Hvn't hrd enough     25     26     29
REFUSED               2      2      2
 
 
11. Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            47%    47%    47%
Unfavorable          48     46     49
Hvn't hrd enough      3      4      2
REFUSED               3      2      3
 
 
12. Is your opinion of the Republican Party favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            39%    32%    34%
Unfavorable          44     53     52
Hvn't hrd enough     13     12     11
REFUSED               3      3      3
 
 
13. Is your opinion of the Democratic Party favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            40%    43%    39%
Unfavorable          44     45     47
Hvn't hrd enough     12     10     10
REFUSED               3      3      4
 
 
14. Is your opinion of the Tea Party Movement favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            34%    32%    31%
Unfavorable          40     39     43
Hvn't hrd enough     25     27     25
REFUSED               1      1      1
 
 
15. Is your opinion of the Occupy Wall Street Movement favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable            30%    30%    29%
Unfavorable          39     37     40
Hvn't hrd enough     29     32     30
REFUSED               2      1      1
 
 
16. Do you consider yourself part of the Tea Party movement or not?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes                  13%    12%    10%
No                   82     84     86
DK/NA                 5      4      4
 
 
17. Compared to past presidential elections, how would you describe your level of enthusiasm about voting in the 2012 presidential election next year - are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as usual?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
More                 35%    25%    25%
Less                 21     23     28
About the same       43     51     46
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
18. Which of the following will be the single most important issue in your vote for President in November 2012 - the economy, health care, immigration issues, terrorism, the federal budget deficit, taxes, foreign policy or something else?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
The economy          55%    54%    53%
Health care          11     13     16
Immigration issues    4      2      2
Terrorism             1      2      2
Federal deficit      13     12     11
Taxes                 5      5      5
Foreign policy        2      1      1
Something else        7      8      7
DK/NA                 2      3      3
 
 
19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way (FL-Rick Scott/OH-John Kasich/PA-Tom Corbett) is handling his job as Governor?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve              36%    36%    46%
Disapprove           50     51     31
DK/NA                14     13     23
 
 
20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve              41%    44%    44%
Disapprove           52     50     52
DK/NA                 7      6      5
 
 
21. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President - Do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes/Deserves         43%    46%    46%
No/Does not          51     48     50
DK/NA                 6      6      4
 
 
22. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Very satisfied        1%     2%     1%
Smwht satisfied      16     19     18
Smwht dissatisfied   31     33     35
Very dissatisfied    52     45     45
DK/NA                 -      1      1
 
 
23. Whether or not you plan to vote for him, if Herman Cain were to become the next president, how comfortable would you be with him as president - very comfortable, fairly comfortable, not very comfortable, or not at all comfortable, or haven't you heard enough about him to say?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Very comfortable     16%    11%    11%
Fairly comfortable   23     19     19
Not very comfortable 11     14     14
Not at all comfrtble 27     25     26
Hvn't hrd enough     23     30     30
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
24. Whether or not you plan to vote for him, if Mitt Romney were to become the next president, how comfortable would you be with him as president - very comfortable, fairly comfortable, not very comfortable, or not at all comfortable, or haven't you heard enough about him to say?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Very comfortable     14%     8%     9%
Fairly comfortable   36     32     35
Not very comfortable 14     18     18
Not at all comfrtble 17     17     13
Hvn't hrd enough     18     24     24
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
25. Whether or not you plan to vote for him, if Newt Gingrich were to become the next president, how comfortable would you be with him as president - very comfortable, fairly comfortable, not very comfortable, or not at all comfortable, or haven't you heard enough about him to say?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Very comfortable     19%    11%    13%
Fairly comfortable   21     21     18
Not very comfortable 12     15     17
Not at all comfrtble 30     31     28
Hvn't hrd enough     19     21     22
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
26. Whether or not you plan to vote for him, if Rick Perry were to become the next president, how comfortable would you be with him as president - very comfortable, fairly comfortable, not very comfortable, or not at all comfortable, or haven't you heard enough about him to say?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Very comfortable      8%     4%     5%
Fairly comfortable   24     19     19
Not very comfortable 17     17     17
Not at all comfrtble 29     27     27
Hvn't hrd enough     22     32     32
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
27. Whether or not you plan to vote for him, if Barack Obama were to be reelected president, how comfortable would you be with him as president - very comfortable, fairly comfortable, not very comfortable, or not at all comfortable, or haven't you heard enough about him to say?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Very comfortable     26%    26%    24%
Fairly comfortable   22     26     27
Not very comfortable 13     13     15
Not at all comfrtble 37     33     32
Hvn't hrd enough      1      1      1
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
28. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the economy - Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                39%    43%    41%
Romney               49     45     45
DK/NA                12     12     13
 
 
29. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the economy - Barack Obama or Newt Gingrich?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                44%    49%    47%
Gingrich             45     39     41
DK/NA                11     11     12
 
 
30. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the economy - Barack Obama or Herman Cain?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                42%    46%    47%
Cain                 45     39     39
DK/NA                12     14     14
 
 
31. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the economy - Barack Obama or Rick Perry?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Obama                45%    46%    47%
Perry                42     39     39
DK/NA                13     15     14
 
 
32. Would you say that Herman Cain is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes                  40%    38%    32%
No                   36     37     41
DK/NA                24     26     27
 
 
33. Would you say that Mitt Romney is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes                  51%    46%    50%
No                   28     32     26
DK/NA                21     22     23
 
 
34. Would you say that Rick Perry is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes                  37%    31%    32%
No                   37     40     38
DK/NA                25     29     30
 
 
35. Would you say that Newt Gingrich is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes                  40%    35%    38%
No                   41     44     41
DK/NA                19     20     21
 
 
36. Would you say that Barack Obama is honest and trustworthy or not?