Obama Expands Lead in Florida, Ohio

Posted September 26th, 2012 at 10:55 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has expanded his lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Florida and Ohio — two of the most important battleground states in this year's presidential race.

A public opinion poll released Wednesday shows President Obama with more than 50 percent support in both states, part of the group of so-called swing states expected to decide the November 6 election.

The president leads Mr. Romney 53 to 44 percent in Florida and 53 to 43 percent in Ohio.

The Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll also found Mr. Obama maintaining his double-digit lead in a third swing state, Pennsylvania, with 54 percent support compared to Mr. Romney's 42 percent.

The assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says the figures reflect what he described as Mr. Romney's “bad week in the media.” He said the “furor over Mr. Romney's 47 percent remark” is almost certainly a “major factor” in President Obama's significant leads in the three states.

Mr. Romney faced widespread criticism after a secretly-taped video surfaced last week showing him telling donors that 47 percent of Americans, who he said will vote for Obama “no matter what,” believe they are “victims” entitled to government support.

The Quinnipiac poll also found that voters in all three states see President Obama as better than Mr. Romney to handle a number of key issues, including the economy, health care, national security, an international crisis and immigration. Mr. Romney ties or emerges slightly ahead of the president on handling the budget deficit.

Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are holding campaign rallies in Ohio Wednesday. At a campaign appearance Wednesday morning featuring Ohio native and golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, Mr. Romney told supporters that he knows what it takes to restore the greatness of America.

The former Massachusetts governor began a two-day bus tour of the industrial state Tuesday, joining U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, his vice-presidential running mate, at a rally near the city of Dayton. In their first joint campaign appearance in several days, the two Republicans said they could revise the struggling U.S. economy, something they said Mr. Obama has failed to do.

Mr. Romney also accused the president of failing to take on China's trade practices, including stealing U.S. intellectual property, which he says has cost jobs in the United States.

No Republican presidential candidate has won the White House without winning Ohio, one of a handful of states with a large number of electoral votes.

The president, meanwhile, will reach out to a key group of supporters — young adult voters — during campaign rallies at two Ohio colleges Wednesday.