President Obama is pulling away from his Republican rivals in key swing states, a new Quinnipiac poll finds.
* In Florida, Obama leads former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney 49 percent to 42 percent and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum 50 to 37 percent.
* In Ohio, Obama leads Romney 47 percent to 41 percent and Santorum 47 to 40 percent.
* In Pennsylvania, a matchup between Romney and Obama is too close to call at 45 percent to 42 percent, but Obama beats Santorum 48 percent to 41 percent.
Two weeks ago, Quinnipiac found Santorum tied to Obama in Pennsylvania.
“President Barack Obama is on a roll in the key swing states,” Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said in a memo. “The biggest reason for the president’s improving prospects probably is the economy. Roughly six in 10 voters in all three states think the economy is recovering.”
The election is still seven months away. A lot can (and will) change between now and November. But for now, economic improvement appears to have translated into electoral benefit for the president.
Obama’s lead can also be attributed to his strength with women, who back him by 6 to 19 percentage points in each state and matchup.
About half of respondents in each state said women’s reproductive health issues were important to their votes — making the subject less of a factor than economic issues and the war in Afghanistan, but more important than abortion, gay marriage and immigration.
The poll was conducted from March 20 to 26, with 1,228 Florida voters, 1,246 Ohio voters and 1,232 Pennsylvania voters. It has a 2.8 percent margin of error.