Mitt Romney (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Mitt Romney has caught up to President Obama in Ohio and Florida, but is still trailing in Pennsylvania, according to new polls released surveying voters in key 2012 battleground states.
A Quinnipiac University survey of likely voters found Romney and Obama statistically tied in Ohio—where 44 percent favor Obama, compared to 42 percent for Romney. The race is also too close to call in Florida, where Romney leads Obama 44 to 43 percent. But Obama is still ahead of Romney in Pennsylvania, 47 to 39 percent. (All three polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.)
Just over a month ago, Quinnipiac found Obama leading in all three states.
The tightening race has been fueled in part by the end of the GOP primary, which means Romney is no longer under daily attack from his Republican rivals. But it also comes amid voter discontent over Obama's handling of the economy—a message the Romney campaign has been hammering home in recent weeks.
More than two-thirds of voters in all three states think the country is still in an economic recession, according to Quinnipiac. Meanwhile, voters in Ohio and Florida believe Romney would do a better job on the economy than Obama. Pennsylvania voters are split on the question—44 percent prefer Obama, compared to 43 percent for Romney.
Romney's gains appear to be less about his own record and more about voter angst over Obama. According to Quinnipiac, voters in all three states are virtually split when it comes to whether they view Obama as favorable or unfavorable. At the same time, Romney's favorable and unfavorable numbers are lower than Obama's.
The presumptive GOP nominee is most popular in Florida, where his favorable rating is 40 percent, compared to Obama's 46 percent. Meanwhile, Romney is most unpopular in Pennsylvania, where 39 percent of those polled view him unfavorably, compared to 43 percent for Obama.
But more than 20 percent of voters in all three states say they still "haven't heard enough" about Romney to form an opinion.
Fifty percent of likely voters in Florida say Obama does not deserve to win a second term, compared to 45 percent who say he does. The results were opposite in Pennsylvania, where 50 percent said Obama should be re-elected. Quinnipiac found voters in Ohio split on the question.
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