President Barack Obama has a 9-point lead in Ohio over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Both candidates are campaigning hard in Ohio and Obama is returning to the state next week for his first bus tour. The campaign, however, is being tight-lipped about where the stops will be.
The bus trip kicks off July 5 and will coincide with the release of the monthly nationwide jobs report, a key economic indicator that could directly impact the president's re-election prospects.
The Romney campaign says he has no stops planned for Ohio in the coming days. The campaign is busy opening Republican Victory Centers across the state and two opened recently in Lebanon and Centerville. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, is opening the newest one in Beavercreek on Saturday at noon at 3297 Seajay Drive.
The Quinnipiac swing-state poll released Wednesday found 47 percent of Ohio voters would vote for Obama and 38 percent would vote for Romney if the election were held today. Obama leads Romney in Ohio 47-44, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.
In Quinnipiac's poll, Obama leads Romney by 4 points in Florida and 6 points in Pennsylvania. No president has been elected since John F. Kennedy in 1960 without winning at least two of the three states polled.
"The president's lead is largely due to his lead among independent voters, the group that usually decides Ohio elections," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The poll surveyed 1,237 registered Ohio voters on land lines and cell phones from June 19 to 25 and had with a 2.8 percent margin of error. About 34 percent surveyed consider themselves Democrats, 26 percent said they were Republicans and 34 percent identified as independent voters.
Obama also had a more favorable rating than Romney, 50-32 percent, and 48 percent of independent voters said Obama deserved to be re-elected. Men split with 45 percent for Obama and 42 percent for Romney while women chose Obama, 50-35.
For the first time this year, Ohio voters say Obama would do a better job on the economy than Romney, 47 to 42 percent. On the economy, Pennsylvania voters split between the two, 44-44, and Florida voters favored Romney, 46-44.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown leads Republican Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, 50-34 percent, with 14 percent of voters undecided.
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