Obama widens lead in 2 main battlegrounds

2012-09-26 15:04
US President Barack Obama. (File, AP)

US President Barack Obama. (File, AP)

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Washington - US President Barack Obama has widened his lead in the two main battleground states in the 2012 White House race as well as in Pennsylvania, according to a new opinion poll released on Wednesday.

The Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll put Obama ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney 53% to 44% in Florida, 53% to 43% in Ohio and 54% to 42% in Pennsylvania, less than six weeks ahead of the 6 November vote.

Florida has the most electoral votes of any of the so-called swing states expected to decide the election, and no Republican has ever become president without winning Ohio.

Obama's favourability rating in all three states was a comfortable 54%, while Romney's was 41%.

Even worse for Romney, the poll found that more than 90% of voters in all three states have made up their minds, leaving a dwindling number of independents that could be swayed by more television ads or campaign events.

Comeback

The survey was carried out 18-24 September, in the aftermath of what was arguably the worst week of Romney's quest for the White House.

The candidate faced a barrage of criticism - including from fellow conservatives - after a hasty statement accusing Obama of sympathising with Islamist protesters hours after the US ambassador to Libya was killed.

A video surfaced days later showing Romney giving a speech to wealthy donors in which he said 47% of Americans were freeloaders who would vote for Obama in order to keep getting government handouts.

Romney will have a chance to stage a comeback next month when the candidates hold a series of televised debates, and the sluggish US economy or turmoil in the Middle East could yet weigh down on Obama's re-election bid.

The survey was conducted by phone among nearly 1 200 likely voters in each of the three states, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
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