Polls Apart

   Obama again runs less well than Clinton in Florida and two other swing states.  Here are numbers and analysis released by Quinnipiac this morning.

Of special note– Hillary Clinton supporters are nearly-evenly split on whether they’ll support Obama in the fall… 43% yes, 36% no. 

McCAIN LEADS OBAMA IN TWO OF THREE KEY SWING STATES,

QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY SWING STATE POLL FINDS;

CLINTON HAS BIG LEADS IN FLORIDA, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA

FLORIDA: Clinton 48 – McCain 41; McCain 45 – Obama 41;

OHIO: Clinton 48 – McCain 41; McCain 44 – Obama 40:

PENNSYLVANIA: Clinton 50 – McCain 37; Obama 46 – McCain 40      

Plagued by a defection of Clinton supporters and white working class voters, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the leading Democratic presidential contender, trails Arizona Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican candidate, in Florida and Ohio, according to simultaneous Quinnipiac University Swing State polls released today.  Sen. Obama is six points ahead in Pennsylvania. 

New York Sen. Clinton wins handily in all three states.  No one has been elected President since 1960 without taking two of these three largest swing states in the Electoral College.  Results from the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University polls show:

·        Florida: Clinton tops McCain 48 – 41 percent; McCain leads Obama 45 – 41 percent;

·        Ohio: Clinton beats McCain 48 – 41 percent; McCain tops Obama 44 – 40 percent;

·        Pennsylvania: Clinton tops McCain 50 – 37 percent; Obama leads McCain 46 – 40 percent.

In the McCain-Obama matchups, 26 to 36 percent of Clinton supporters in each state say that if Obama is the nominee they would switch to the Republican in November.  Only 10 to 18 percent of Obama supporters say they would defect to McCain if Clinton is the nominee.

“The numbers for Florida and Ohio are good news for Sen. John McCain and should be worrisome for Sen. Barack Obama. That is especially true about Ohio, which decided the 2004 election.  Ohio’s economy is worse than the rest of the country and the Republican brand there is in disrepute. McCain’s Buckeye lead may be a sign that nationally this may not be the easy Democratic walk to the White House that many expected,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

            “In the Democratic primaries Sen. Obama won in most states among whites with college educations.  But this data show him losing among Florida and Ohio white college graduates by six points or more,” Brown added.

            President Bush’s approval ratings are:

  • 28 – 68 percent in Florida;
  • 26 – 68 percent in Ohio;
  • 23 – 72 percent in Pennsylvania.

Florida

In a Clinton-McCain matchup, she leads 54 – 37 percent among women, while men back McCain 45 – 42 percent.  In an Obama-McCain matchup, men back McCain 48 – 39 percent, while women split, with 43 percent for Obama and 42 percent for McCain.

Florida voters give Clinton a 48 – 43 percent favorability rating, with 44 – 40 percent for Obama and 45 – 37 percent for McCain.

            Florida Democrats split 41 – 41 percent on whether they want to see Clinton or Obama nominated.  Democrats say 64 – 31 percent that Clinton should stay in the race and 61 – 31 percent that Obama should pick her as his vice presidential running mate.

Democrats who want Clinton to win the nomination, would vote 91 – 6 percent for her against McCain, but only 43 – 36 percent for Obama against McCain.

The economy is the most important issue in their vote, 47 percent of Florida voters say, while 19 percent list the war in Iraq.  Health care and terrorism each get 11 percent.  Voters split 46 – 44 percent on whether they trust Obama or McCain to handle the economy.   By a 52 – 42 percent margin, they trust McCain more to handle the war in Iraq and trust McCain more,         58 – 34, percent to handle terrorism.  Voters trust Obama 50 – 37 percent to handle health care.

A total of 86 percent of Florida voters say they would be “entirely comfortable” or “somewhat comfortable” with an African American President.

A total of 65 percent of voters say they would be “entirely comfortable” or “somewhat comfortable” with a President who enters office at age 72.

Because of his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, 43 percent of Florida voters say they are less likely to vote for Obama, while 52 percent say it won’t affect their vote.

The same number, 43 percent, say they are less likely to vote for McCain because of his association with President Bush, while 45 percent say it won’t affect their vote.

“Sen. Obama is losing the white vote by 14 – 18 points in Ohio and Florida, which is enough to keep him from victory despite overwhelming support from African Americans.  In Ohio, more than a quarter of Clinton voters say they will support McCain.  In Florida, more than a third of them say they will back McCain against Obama.  If he can’t win a decent chunk of them back, he’s got an uphill climb in these pivotal states,” said Brown.

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