Q poll: Obama 47 - McCain 43
In Florida, Barack Obama takes the lead, though barely, over John McCain. And bad news for Gov. Charlie Crist: 58 percent of Florida voters say it would not make a difference if he is the Republican vice presidential candidate. Similarly, Hillary Clinton or Bill Nelson do not boost the Democratic ticket.
Those are the top headlines from a new Quinnipiac University poll (full results here) that shows Barack Obama leading John McCain in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
"Finally getting Sen. Hillary Clinton out of the race has been a big boost," pollster Peter A. Brown says, though noting Obama's lead is slim in Florida and Ohio. "Sen. Obama is certainly not out of the woods, but these results are a good indication that he enters the summer slightly ahead in the race to be the next president."
The poll was taken June 9 - 16 and included 1,453 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent. Last month, with Clinton still in the race, McCain topped Obama in Florida 45-41.
Florida women likely voters back Obama 50 - 40 percent, while men go 47 percent for McCain and 44 percent for Obama. White voters back McCain 50 - 40 percent while black voters back Obama 95 - 4 percent. Obama leads 57 -35 percent with voters 18 to 34 years old; he splits 48 - 46 percent with McCain among voters 35 to 54, and 44 - 46 percent with voters over 55.
Thirteen percent of those who voted for President Bush in 2004 now support Obama. And 19 percent of those who backed Clinton in the primaries now support McCain.
Obama gets a 48 - 33 percent favorability rating, with 47 - 35 percent for McCain.
While 23 percent of Florida voters say they are less likely to vote for McCain because of his age, 73 percent say it doesn't matter. Obama's race won't affect their vote 88 percent say.
A total of 86 percent of Florida likely voters say the vice presidential candidate is "very important" or "somewhat important" to their vote. Looking at native sons, voters say:
* 15 - 8 percent that they would be less likely to vote Democratic if Sen. Bill Nelson is on the ticket, with 69 percent who say it won't affect their vote;
* 21 - 16 percent that they would be less likely to vote Republican if Gov. Charlie Crist is the vice presidential candidate, while 58 percent say it won't make a difference.
"Picking a Floridian for vice president apparently won't help either nominee carry the state's 27 electoral votes," said Brown.