Poll: Obama Leads Key Swing States, Nearly 9 in 10 Say Mind is Made Up
The good news for President Obama is that he's leading these polls. The even better news is that the vast majority of likely voters say their mind is already made up, validating his campaign's decision to start advertising early and heavily in order to define the campaign—and Mitt Romney.
Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times. 7/24-7/30. Likely voters.
As with any poll, of course, there's nothing bankable about these numbers. They merely reflect where the race currently stands, as sampled by the pollsters. Because President Obama's lead is bigger in Florida and Pennsylvania than other surveys have shown, there's been some raised eyebrows, with the usual focus on sample composition. I'm not an expert on this sort of thing, but the numbers that I think are relevant would be the partisan makeup of each sample relative to the 2008 exit poll results.
In Florida, this poll was 37 percent Democratic, 32 percent independent, and 26 percent Republican. In 2008, those numbers were 37 percent, 29 percent, and 34 percent, respectively.
In Ohio, this poll was 35 percent Democratic, 32 percent independent, and 27 percent Republican. In 2008, those numbers were 31 percent, 30 percent, and 31 percent, respectively.
In Pennsylvania, this poll was 38 percent Democratic, 26 percent independent, and 32 percent Republican. In 2008, those numbers were 44 percent, 18 percent, and 37 percent, respectively.
So, as far as sample goes, Florida is the only one where the sample appears on the face to be friendlier to Obama than it was in 2008. That brings us back to why these polls are good news for President Obama's reelection campaign: the reason he is leading is that he is making the better case for his election. In each state, a majority of voters think that he cares about their needs. Only about 40 percent feel the same about Romney. Moreover, a majority of voters in each state think Obama's economic policies are currently or will in the future help the economy. Meanwhile, a majority in Ohio and Pennsylvania and 48 percent in Florida think Romney's business experience was too focused on making profits to be the right kind of experience for the presidency.