President Obama leads Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney 53-42 percent among likely voters in Pennsylvania. The Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll, released Wednesday, also shows U.S. Senator Bob Casey ahead of Republican challenger Tom Smith 55-37 percent.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said Mr. Obama's lead is built squarely on female voters. "He has a 59-35 percent lead among women voters, while men go to Romney 50-47 percent. Independent voters also back Mr. Obama 58-36 percent."
Brown also noted that a recent survey by Quinnipiac showed a "marriage gap" for male and female voters, with single women tending to support Mr. Obama, and married women leaning toward Romney. Similarly, Romney leads among married men, while Mr. Obama has a small lead with single men.
Wednesday's poll of likely voters could not be compared to previous surveys because those were based on registered voters, rather than likely voters. Brown noted that the President's margin mirrors his lead over Republican U.S. Senator John McCain heading into the general election in 2008.
The two other swing states surveyed, Florida and Ohio, have President Obama leading Romney 51-45 percent, and 50-44 percent, respectively.