President Barack Obama leads Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney in three key states - Florida, Virginia and Ohio - a new NBC poll released Thursday shows. Obama holds at least a four point lead in the three swing states, with the Florida and Ohio gaps representing the widest margin.
When asked which candidate those polled would vote for if the election were held today, 45 percent in Florida and Ohio said Obama. Among those undecided but leaning toward a specific candidate, Obama claimed 48 percent of those polled. That left Romney with 40 and 44 (including leaning but undecideds) in Florida and 40 and 42 in Ohio.
In Virginia, the margin was slightly closer among total registered voters, splitting 46-42 for Obama and Romney respectively. However, the numbers were identical to the other two swing states (48-44) when 'leaning but undecideds' were taken into account.
The numbers are a boon for the president, especially considering over 20 percent of those polled in all three states called themselves 'strong' or 'somewhat strong' Tea Party supporters. However, the gap between Obama and Romney still has the possibility of being closed, with six percent in Florida and Virginia and five percent in Ohio saying they might vote differently in November than how they would now.
However, Obama's favorables are notably higher than Romney's across the board and he also scored higher on his economic policies, but only by a very slim gap of two points in each state, well within the margin of error.
This issue, which over 70 percent of each state's respondents said was their #1 election issue, is central to the Romney campaign. The former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital executive has included economic measures to boost jobs and economic growth in almost every initiative from education to foreign policy.
The economy will dominate the general election discourse, as further proved by this poll. Although respondents said they believed the worst is behind us, more also said they believe the economy will stay about the same in the coming months, rather than improving. The victor in November will no doubt be whichever candidate can make them feel otherwise.
by RTT Staff Writer
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