President Barack Obama is leading Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, three swing states key to the general election, while the president also receives the approval of a majority of voters in 13 others states, recent polling data shows.
According to the results of a Gallup poll released Wednesday, a majority of voters in 13 states and the District of Columbia approved of the president's job performance during the first six months of 2012.
Obama also held at least a six-point lead over Romney in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll released on Wednesday.
"If today were November 6, President Barack Obama would sweep the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania and - if history is any guide - into a second term in the Oval Office," said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Assistant Director Peter A. Brown.
He added, "The president is running better in the key swing states than he is nationally. Part of the reason may be that the unemployment rate in Ohio is well below the national average. In Florida it has been dropping over the past year, while nationally that has not been the case."
The Quinnipiac poll put Obama ahead of Romney by 51-45 percent in Florida, by 50-44 percent in Ohio and by 53-42 percent in Pennsylvania.
However, the Gallup poll released today showed somewhat drearier numbers for Obama in those states, with the president's approval rating in the states ranging from 46 percent to 44 percent.
In the Gallup poll, the president's highest ratings were in Rhode Island (58 percent), Hawaii (63 percent), and the District of Columbia (83 percent).
However, in 16 other states, his approval rating averaged below 40 percent, with residents of Utah, Wyoming, and Alaska least approving at 26, 28 and 29 percent respectively.
Gallup managing editor Jeffrey Jones said, "If Obama were to win in the states in which a majority of residents approved of the job he was doing across the first six months of the year, he would have roughly two-thirds of the electoral votes he would need to be re-elected."
"Under that scenario, Obama would then need roughly 90 more electoral votes to win re-election," Jones added, noting Obama would need to depend on swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
For the Obama campaign, the data was a welcome change from recent polls showing diminished voter enthusiasm among Democrats, high scores for Mitt Romney on economic policy and a drop in favorability for Obama among business.
The main challenge for the president remains on economic policy. While the president continues to poll strongly among women, minorities and professional workers, recent Gallup polls show up to a 19 percent gap between Obama and Romney on voters' enthusiasm for their budget deficit, jobs creation and tax policies.
"All this matters because half of all likely voters say the economy is the most important issue to their vote, far ahead of any other issue," Quinnipiac's Brown said. "The saving grace for Gov. Mitt Romney is that he roughly breaks even with the president on who is best on the economy."
However, "if business owners become more positive about Obama and his plans for the economy, that could potentially boost his approval ratings and broader U.S. economic confidence closer to the levels necessary for him to be well positioned for re-election," a July 26th Gallup release stated.
by RTT Staff Writer
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