Poll shows Florida joining Obama’s swing state surge

September 26, 2012

While all the swing state have begun moving toward President Obama in the polls, the biggest swing state remained very close. Even that might be changing now.

A new poll from CBS News, the New York Times and Quinnipiac University shows Obama extending his leads in the key states of Ohio and Florida, while also being up big in Pennsylvania. The Florida poll, in particular, is notable because that state hasn't trended toward Obama as much as others have.

Other polling has shown Obama gaining in swing states, but the Quinnipiac polls take it a step further, showing him in the low 50s and at or close to a double-digit lead in all three states.

He leads 53 percent to 43 percent in Ohio, 53 percent to 44 percent in Florida and 54 percent to 42 percent in Pennsylvania. The first two states are considered crucial to the 2012 contest -- bordering on must-wins for Mitt Romney -- while the latter is a blue-leaning state that the GOP had hoped to put in play.

Polling in Ohio has been trending toward Obama for a while, but the picture in Florida has been more static, with Obama holding an inside-the-margin-of-error lead in most polls -- including four points in a Washington Post poll released Tuesday and one point in a Mason-Dixon poll released Friday. An automated poll from Purple Strategies last week even showed Romney at 48 percent and Obama at 47 percent.

If his margin is now nine points there, it would mean he's also got the inside track on the biggest swing state electoral vote prize in the country.

After The Fix moved Ohio to "lean Obama" on Tuesday, the president now has 255 electoral votes leaning his way. Florida's 29 electoral votes would put him well past the 270 he needs to win another term.

Romney, meanwhile, could really use those electoral votes to put him back into contention. If he wins Florida, he faces a 255-to-235 electoral vote deficit in a race that would be decided by the six remaining swing states.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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