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Pizza businessman Herman Cain leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Ohio Republicans, but Mr. Romney fares better in a head-to-head match among all voters against President Barack Obama, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll out Thursday.
The poll found that Mr. Obama would beat Mr. Romney 45 percent to 42 percent, while the President would defeat Mr. Cain 48 percent to 38 percent.
Quinnipiac said Thursday the survey is the first of its “Swing State Poll” series for the 2012 cycle.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the polling institute based at the Connecticut university, said the poll shows Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney running neck and neck in swing state Ohio, as well as in swing states Florida and Pennsylvania — three key states for any presidential candidate.
In the GOP primary race, Mr. Cain is preferred over Mr. Romney 25 percent to 20 percent, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 11 percent, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul at 9 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann tied at 4 percent.
Ohio voters disapprove 50 percent to 44 percent of the job Obama is doing and split 46 to 48 percent on whether he deserves reelection.
Herman Cain and Mr. Romney lead the Republican primary pack in all three states. But overall, Mr. Romney is considered more honest and trustworthy by voters and makes a more favorable impression.
The poll was taken Oct. 31 through Nov. 7 and shows that the questions about Mr. Cain’s behavior as head of the National Restaurant Association haven’t derailed his candidacy so far, and he remains strong among Republicans.