Women, improving economy give Obama 7 point lead over Romney in Florida, poll shows
President Obama leads Mitt Romney 49 to 42 in Florida, a new Quinnipiac poll shows. The president bests Rick Santorum 50 to 37.
Obama also has a lead in Ohio, another key swing state and a smaller edge in Pennsylvania, according to the poll.
Roughly six in 10 voters in the states said the economy was improving. Women also favor the president.
"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," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a release. "But the election is not today. It is seven months away. Two months ago President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney were in a statistical tie in Ohio and Florida."
Florida voters give Obama a split 47 - 49 percent job approval rating, and say 50 - 47 percent he deserves to be reelected. Florida voters disapprove 52 - 36 percent of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing, "continuing his year-long streak of negative ratings."
From the poll:
Voters describe candidate positions on these issues as important in their vote:
• The economy - 90 percent "extremely important " or "very important;"
• Unemployment - 81 percent;
• The 2010 healthcare law - 78 percent;
• The federal budget deficit - 76 percent;
• The war in Afghanistan - 67 percent;
• Gas prices - 66 percent;
• Immigration - 55 percent;
• Women's reproductive health issues - 48 percent;
• Social issues such as abortion and gay marriage - 39 percent.
The economy is in a recession, 68 percent of voters say, but 57 percent say it is beginning to recover. Romney would do a better job on the economy, 48 percent of voters say, while 45 percent pick the president, but Obama tops Santorum 50 - 39 percent on this issue.
Oil companies are most to blame for gas prices, 32 percent of voters say, while 23 percent blame oil-producing countries most; 18 percent blame Obama and 16 percent blame supply and demand.
Florida voters oppose 54 - 36 percent releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to curb rising gas prices.
"Although a solid majority of Florida voters see environmental regulations as a cause of higher gasoline prices, Sunshine State voters are slightly less likely than their brethren in Ohio and Pennsylvania to see things that way. They are also the least supportive of the idea of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to combat higher gas prices," Brown said.