Poll shows Obama ahead of Romney in swing states

Obama led slightly in Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio in the random telephone survey.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
President Barack Obama walks from Air Force One upon his arrival at Kennedy Airport in New York, on August 22. Obama is attending several campaign fund raising events in New York.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's pick of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate helped him slightly with some likely voters in three critical swing states although not enough to overtake President Barack Obama, who hung onto a slight advantage in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, according to a poll released Thursday.

Obama led slightly in all three of the battleground states: 49 percent to 46 percent in Florida, 49 percent to 47 percent in Wisconsin and 50 percent to 44 percent in Ohio, which was unchanged from three weeks ago. The random telephone survey was conducted Aug. 15-21 by Quinnipiac (Conn.) University, CBS News and the New York Times. The margin of error in new poll was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points in each of its three separate surveys.

In earlier Quinnipiac polling results released on Aug. 1, Obama led Romney 51-45 in both Florida and Wisconsin.

Obama had a 51 percent favorability rating with voters in Ohio and Wisconsin and 50 percent in Florida compared to Romney, who is upside down with voters in Ohio, where 45 percent view him unfavorably compared to 39 percent who rated him as favorable. Romney was rated favorably by 45 percent of Florida respondents compared to 42 percent unfavorably and basically split with Wisconsin voters by a 44-43 margin.

Ryan, however, was seen more favorably than Vice President Joe Biden, although the Wisconsin congressman was seen as more qualified to become president only with the voters in his home state.

Voters in all three states rated Romney as the stronger candidate for handling the economy while they said Obama would do a better job on Medicare.

Medicare and the economy were each rated "extremely important" by voters in the three states, which all went for Obama in his 2008 victory over Republican nominee John McCain.

"By more than a 4-1 margin, voters in each state say the health care program for the elderly is worth the cost and six in 10 say they favor keeping the current Medicare model," pollster Peter Brown said, adding that 10 percent said they would support major reductions in Medicare to reduce the deficit and nearly 50 percent would go along with minor reductions.

"Obama is the clear favorite in handling health care and Medicare," Brown said.

Poll-takers interviewed 1,241 likely voters in Florida, 1,253 in Ohio and 1,190 in Wisconsin via land lines and cell phones.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.