The Washington Post

Romney ties Obama in two big swing states

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has caught up with President Obama in Ohio and Florida while Obama maintains his lead in Pennsylvania, according to new Quinnipiac polls.

A month ago, Obama led in all three states.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets the crowd while campaigning at Exhibit Edge on Wednesday in Chantilly, VA. (Matt McClain/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

No one has won the White House since 1960 without taking two of these three states.

So what happened? In short, the primary ended and the recovery is happening very slowly.

“Romney’s ability to cut into the president’s leads in Ohio and Florida reflects two changes in the political environment,” said pollster Peter Brown. “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.”

Voters in both Florida and Ohio think Romney would do a better job than Obama handling the economy. Voters in Pennsylvania are split. At least 67 percent of voters in each state say the economy is still in a recession.

Obama still has a significant lead with women in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but not in Florida.

Quinnipiac University conducted three polls from April 25 to May 1 with 1,169 Florida voters, 1,130 Ohio voters and 1,168 Pennsylvania voters. The margin of error for each survey is 2.9 points.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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