President Barack Obama earns the support of more than half of likely voters in Ohio and Florida while holding solid leads over Mitt Romney in each battleground, according to a pair of new polls out Tuesday.
The latest survey from the Washington Post shows Obama boasting an 8-point edge in Ohio, 52 percent to 44 percent, a state that has moved out of the tossup column in recent weeks as polls have routinely shown the president asserting himself as the favorite there.
Fifty-six percent of registered voters in the Buckeye State approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared with 43 percent who disapprove. And the president is clearly the preferred candidate among voters to preside over a host of policy areas: the economy, immigration, Medicare, Medicaid, military spending, issues related to the middle class, social issues, taxes and international affairs. Romney’s only policy edge in Ohio is a small one: voters there barely prefer him to handle the federal budget deficit, 45 percent to 43 percent.
The PollTracker Average reflects Obama’s upward movement this month in Ohio, where he currently leads Romney, 49.3 percent to 44.6 percent.
The race, while tighter, looks much the same in Florida. Obama picks up the support of 51 percent of likely Sunshine State voters, while Romney trails with 47 percent — a gap that is just within the poll’s margin of error. Like Ohio, Obama enjoys a high approval rating in Florida, where 55 percent of registered voters approve of his job performance and 44 percent disapprove. But unlike in Ohio, Obama claims the upper-hand over Romney in all of the policy areas tested in the poll — including the federal budget deficit.
The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama leading Romney by 3.1 points in Florida.
Tuesday’s polls show Romney’s personal popularity slightly under water in Ohio and in positive territory in Florida. Forty-seven percent of registered voters in Ohio have a favorable view of the former Massachusetts governor, compared with 50 percent who hold an unfavorable view. That’s a marginal improvement for Romney in Ohio, where polls have consistently shown his favorability rating to hover around the low 40s. In Florida, the Republican nominee is viewed favorably by 50 percent of voters, while 48 percent view him unfavorably.
But as has been the case virtually all campaign, Obama is viewed more widely favorable than his challenger. Fifty-nine percent of voters in Ohio and Florida view the president favorably, while he is viewed unfavorably by 39 percent and 40 percent respectively.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.