President Barack Obama holds a narrow advantage over Republican Mitt Romney in Ohio, the hardest-fought state of the 2012 presidential election, according to a poll commissioned by CBS News and the New York Times.
The president and Romney are statistically tied in Florida, the biggest of all swing states, and in Virginia, the survey run by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute shows.
All three are states which the president carried in 2008, and which Romney is fighting to claim this year.
In Ohio, the survey finds, Obama is favored among 50 percent of likely voters, Romney 45 percent, unchanged from a survey released Oct. 22.
In Florida, it’s Obama 48 percent, Romney 47 percent, a closer contest than portrayed in a Sept. 26 survey: Obama 53, Romney 44. Other polls in Florida have portrayed a slim edge for Romney in Florida, though those results as well amount to virtual ties within the polling margins of error.
In Virginia, it’s Obama 49 percent, Romney 47 — compared with Obama 51, Romney 46, in a survey released Oct. 11.
It is increased support from women that has helped Romney narrow the gap with Obama in Florida and Virginia, Quinnipiac reports, “leaving these key swing states too close to call, while the president holds a five-point lead in Ohio.”
“By wide margins,” Quinnipiac says in a statement released this morning, “voters in each state say President Obama cares about their needs and problems more than Gov. Romney, but the Republican is seen as a leader by more voters.”
Asked who is better able to fix the economy, 49 percent of Florida voters named Romney, 47 percent Obama, while 49 percent of Ohio voters named Obama and 48 percent Romney. In Virginia, 50 percent named Romney, 46 percent Obama.
“After being subjected to what seems like a zillion dollars’ worth of television ads and personal attention from the two candidates reminiscent of a high-school crush, the key swing states of Florida and Virginia are too close to call with the election only days away,” says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Camden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The surveys were conducted Oct. 23-28 –sampling 1,110 likely voters in Ohio, 1,073 in Florida and 1,074 in Virginia — with a 3 percentage point margin of error.