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Obama pulls out front of Romney and Santorum in key states, a Quinnipiac University Poll shows

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Two months ago President Obama and Mitt Romney were in a statistical tie in Ohio and Florida. (AP)

President Barack Obama has pulled out front of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Florida and Ohio, a Quinnipiac University Poll out Wednesday shows, while Pennsylvania remains too close to call.

Here's what the numbers show about the three battleground states:

  • Florida: Obama tops Romney 49 — 42 percent, and he beats Santorum 50 — 37 percent.
  • Ohio: Obama leads Romney 47 — 41 percent, and he is out front of Santorum 47 — 40 percent.
  • Pennsylvania, which is Santorum's home state:  Obama edges Romney 45 — 42 percent, and he tops Santorum 48 — 41 percent.

Two months ago Obama and Romney were in a statistical tie in Ohio and Florida.

[Related: History offers little hope for Santorum and Gingrich]

Women voters are making a difference for Obama, according to the poll. They back the president 6 to 19 percentage points in the three states. Most matchups among men are too close to call.

"President Barack Obama is on a roll in the key swing states.  If the election were today, he would carry at least two states.  And if history repeats itself, that means he would be re-elected," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

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[Related: Mitt Romney leads Rick Santorum in Wisconsin poll]

"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.  Moreover, voters blame the oil companies and oil-producing countries for the rise in gasoline prices and only about one in six voters blame them on President Obama."

No candidate has won the White House since 1960 without carrying at least two of these states.

The three Quinnipiac University Polls, conducted March 20 — 26, have a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

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