The latest Quinnipiac University poll of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania was released today, and it finds that the economy has powered Obama to a double digit lead over John McCain in all three states. In Ohio, Obama leads 52%-38%. In Pennsylvania, the Democrat leads 53%-40%. McCain has narrowed the gap a little in Florida and trails, 49%-44%
In Ohio, Obama leads with men 46%-44%, and women 58%-33%. He beating McCain by double digits with all age groups in the state, and he is leading with Independents, 50%-37%. The Democrat leads McCain by 3 points (46%-43%) with those who don’t have college degrees, and the candidates are tied with Catholic voters at 46%. The economy still dominates with Buckeye State voters, as 58% of those surveyed said that the economy was the most important issue in this election. Ohio voters trust Barack Obama more with the economy by a margin of 55%-36%.
In Pennsylvania, the story is similar to Ohio. Obama leads with men, 47%-45%, women, 59%-35%, and Independents, 55%-35%. He leads McCain by no less than 10 points among all age groups. Obama leads with white voters and white voters without a college degree, 49%-44%. The Illinois senator leads with Catholics, 55%-38%. The economy is the top issue to 61% of respondents. Pennsylvanians trust Obama more on the economy, 54%-36%.
The only good news for McCain is in Florida where he seems to have stopped the bleeding. Obama leads with Independents, 51%-39%, but McCain leads with men, 46%-45%, and Obama’s lead among women is much smaller with women in the state, 51%-42%. McCain leads with white voters, 51%-42%, and those who don’t have a college degree, 54%-37%. Obama leads with all age groups, but it goes 13 points with young voters down to 2 points with those over 55. The economy was picked as the most important issue by 61% of those surveyed. Among those who voted early, Obama leads 48%-44%.Voters trust Obama more with the economy, 51%-43%.
The approval ratings of each candidate are very telling. Obama has an approval rating of 56% in Florida, 58% in Ohio, and 60% in Pennsylvania. His approval rating among Independents is even higher in each state, 60% in Florida, 57% in Ohio, and 65% in Pennsylvania. McCain’s approval ratings are 52% in Florida, 48% in Ohio, and 51% in Pennsylvania. Independents were supposed to be McCain’s strength, but his approval rating with Independents is 50% in Florida, 51% in Ohio, and 47% in Pennsylvania.
Sarah Palin continues to be the least popular candidate in this race. Her approval rating in Florida is 41%, in Ohio its 37%, and in Pennsylvania it is 38%. Among women Palin’s approval rating is 39% in Florida, 32% in Ohio, and 34% in Pennsylvania. It is possible that the McCain campaign’s strategy of sending the unpopular Palin to campaign in Ohio and Pennsylvania is hurting their poll numbers in each state. There is little good news for McCain/Palin in these numbers.
If these numbers hold up, we could be looking at the biggest non-incumbent Democratic victory since FDR in 1932. The biggest incumbent Democratic win in recent history was Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964. These previous elections measure up favorably in climate and scope to what 2008 could look like. I would like to caution that nothing has been settled yet, and crazy things can happen in the last week of a campaign, but Obama continues to look strong while McCain keeps fading.