Republican Mitt Romney has started to catch up with President Barack Obama in two swing states, including Ohio, but the President has expanded his lead in Pennsylvania, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.
The new poll out today shows that Mr. Obama has a 44 percent to 42 percent lead over Mr. Romney – within the margin of error.
Mr. Romney has just about erased the deficit he had compared with the President in Quinnipiac’s last poll, on March 28. That poll put Mr. Obama ahead of Mr. Romney 47 percent to 41 percent in Ohio.
Quinnipiac found Mr. Romney ahead of but statistically tied with the President in Florida at 44-43, and the President opening up a lead over Mr. Romney of 47 percent to 39 percent in Pennsylvania.
Just over a month ago, Mr. Obama was ahead of Mr. Romney in Florida 49-42, and with a narrower lead in Pennsylvania, 45-42.
Quinnipiac calls the three states swing states because no one has won the White House since 1960 without carrying at least two of them.
“Gov. Mitt Romney has closed President Barack Obama’s leads in Ohio and Florida to the point that those two states are now essentially tied, a turnaround from the end of March when the president enjoyed leads in those key states,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"Romney’s ability to cut into the president’s leads in Ohio and Florida reflects two changes in the political environment: First, since he is now the de facto nominee, Romney is no longer being attacked by his fellow Republicans, who are closing ranks behind him. Second, voter optimism about the economy has leveled off, reflecting economic statistics over the past month and the public reaction to them," Mr. Brown said.
The latest results also show a gender gap in Ohio with women backing Mr. Obama 50 percent to 37 percent, while men back Mr. Romney 48 percent to 38 percent.
Mr. Obama’s approval rating in Ohio was 48 percent approval and 47 percent disapproval.
Asked about the national health care law Mr. Obama championed, voters say 51-37 percent that it should be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Voters approved 51–39 percent of the President’s handling of Afghanistan, but say by 59–33 percent that the U.S. should not be involved.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,130 Ohio voters from April 25 to May 1. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.9 percent.