State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Obama's lead widens in key swing states, still solid in PA

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 26, 2012 12:42 PM

Barak-Obama.jpgPresident Obama is showing a solid lead in two polls of registered Pennsylvania voters, as well as two key battleground states.

A Franklin & Marshall College Poll shows a gap of 11 points between Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney among likely PA voters – among likely voters, the margin is smaller, with the president up by nine percent.

Pollster Terry Madonna said most voters judge Obama to be better equipped to handle the economy, foreign policy issues, and serve as commander in chief.

“The things that voters are really likely to cast a vote on, the president simply does better,” said Madonna. “His nine point lead among registered voters is very, very consistent with the vast majority of polls that have been out in the last couple of weeks.”

The poll’s analysis notes that Romney’s favorability ratings in this survey are “much lower” than John McCain’s scores were in 2008.

“The fundamental problem that Governor Romney faces is that he just simply has not defined himself, he's not been specific about what he will do if elected, and I think that’s been a serious problem for him,” said Madonna. “Additionally, he’s not been able to make himself substantially more popular with the voters.”

A survey by Quinnipiac University also finds the president leading over Romney in Pennsylvania as well as two other big electoral prizes, Ohio and Florida.

The findings conflict with those of a state Republican Party internal poll released last week, which showed the presidential race to be a virtual tie in the commonwealth.

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