According to a new Quinnipiac University swing state poll, John McCain has been able to make up little ground on Barack Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Ohio, McCain has made up five points, but Obama still leads 51%-42%. In Pennsylvania, McCain has made up one point. Obama leads 53%-41%.
In Ohio, McCain leads with men, 48%-45%, but Obama leads with women, 55%-36%, and Independents, 50%-38%. Obama leads by double digits with people age 18-34 and over 55. Middle age voters, those 35-54, are split 47%-46% for McCain. Among those who already voted, Obama leads 57%-31%. Fifty nine percent of those surveyed said that the economy is their most important issue, and those voters support Obama 58%-34%. The bad news for McCain is that voters are getting comfortable with the idea of Obama as president, 52% thought that Obama would be a good or great president compared to 43% for McCain.
McCain does lead with white men, 51%-42%, and he has a big lead with white evangelicals, 61%-33%. The candidates are split with both voters who have a college degree and those who don’t. Among those without a degree McCain leads, 47%-45%, and those with a college degree are split, 48%-47%. Ninety one percent of Ohio voters say that they have made of their minds, which means that voters are becoming more settled, and they are leaning strongly towards Obama.
It looks like McCain’s big push to flip Pennsylvania has flopped. Obama still leads with Independents, 54%-39%, and women, 59%-36%. McCain does lead with men, 49%-46%, but Obama leads across all age groups by no less than 8 points. White voters are split, 48%-47% for Obama, but McCain’s strength is with white men, who he leads 55%-41%. Obama leads with white women 53%-40%, and Catholics, 49%-47%.
The economy is the most important issue to 54% of those surveyed, and this group supports Obama, 59%-35%. The worst sign is the state for McCain is that Obama leads Southeastern PA, 57%-39%. This combined with Obama’s dominance of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is more than enough to offset McCain’s smaller 13 point advantage in the central part of the state, which Hillary Clinton dominated by 30-40 points in the Democratic primary. Voters in the state are comfortable with Obama as, 55% think he will be a good or great president compared to 42% who feel the same way about McCain. Ninety one percent of voters say that they have made up their minds.
It has been a mystery to me why McCain is spending time and money in Pennsylvania. There has never been a poll that showed McCain tied or leading. As soon as Obama shifted the focus of his campaign to the economy and jobs, he won the state. The numbers in Ohio look better for McCain. Some polls show the margin to be smaller than 9 points. I think Ohio is going to be all about turnout for Obama. If turnout is huge, he will win the state. If Obama wins both of these states, he wins this election.