Obama Is Leading in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Poll Finds

President Barack Obama holds an advantage over Republican Mitt Romney in three swing states critical to the outcome of the presidential election, according to a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times.

The telephone survey of likely voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania also finds support for the president’s plan to increase income taxes on upper-income Americans.

The swing-state polling finds Obama supported by at least 50 percent of the voters surveyed in all three states, with the president leading Romney by 51 percent to 45 percent in Florida, 50 percent to 44 percent in Ohio and 53 percent to 42 percent in Pennsylvania.

According to the polling institute at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Connecticut, since 1960 no one has won election as president without winning at least two of the three states surveyed.

Support for Obama’s proposal to allow the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to lapse for households earning more than $250,000 a year ran at 58 percent to 37 percent in Florida, 60 percent to 37 percent in Ohio and 62 percent to 34 percent in Pennsylvania. Romney and the Republicans running the U.S. House want to extend the tax cuts for all taxpayers, and Romney proposes additional cuts in all income tax brackets.

Obama ‘Sweep’

The polling, conducted July 24 through 30, shows Obama with an edge over his Republican rival in three crucial states weeks before the Republicans convene for their nominating convention in Tampa, Florida, the last week in August and the Democrats for theirs in Charlotte, North Carolina, the first week of September. The election is Nov 6.

“The president is running better in the key swing states than he is nationally,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement issued today. Recent national surveys have portrayed a virtual tie in support for the two candidates.

Brown pointed to improving economies in Ohio and Florida, as unemployment remains above 8 percent nationally, as one possible reason for the findings in those states.

The survey of 1,177 Florida likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent, the survey of 1,168 Pennsylvania voters 2.9 percent and the survey of 1,193 Ohio voters 2.8 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Silva in Washington at msilva34@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tackett at mtackett@bloomberg.net

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