Obama leads in Ohio and Florida, new poll shows


Republican US presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) greets supporters during a campaign rally at Westerville South High School Sept. 26, 2012 in Westerville, Ohio. Romney continued his two-day 'Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class' bus tour in the state of Ohio.


Alex Wong

No Republican has won the presidency without also winning Ohio, and according to the latest New York Times/Quinnipiac University/CBS News, President Obama is leading Mitt Romney in the key swing state 53 to 43 percent.

That's a significant jump for Obama, up "from the president's 50 percent to 44 percent lead in a previous poll on Aug. 23," according to ABC News.

Romney's campaign political director, Rich Beeson, when asked about the recent poll, said: "There's still 42 days to go. We are by any stretch inside the margin of error in Ohio. And the Obama campaign is going to have some problems there."

But according to The New York Times, "The surveys ... had margins of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for each candidate." 

That means Obama has a sizable lead in Ohio, or he has a smaller, but still significant lead in Ohio. Romney is not within the margin of error.

It's also worth noting that Obama leads Romney 53 to 44 percent in another key battleground state - Florida.

Another poll from the Washington Post reaffirms the findings of the Times/Quinnipiac University/CBS poll.

Obama maintains "a significant lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio and holds a slender edge in Florida" according to the Post.

Both candidates are currently campaigning in Ohio.

The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg put these polls in political context:

"The polls, along with interviews with supporters and advisers in the nation's two largest battleground states, lay bare an increasingly urgent challenge facing Mr. Romney as he prepares for his next chance to move the race in his favor, at the first debate with Mr. Obama next week. Mr. Romney's burden is no longer to win over undecided voters, but also to woo back the voters who seem to be growing a little comfortable with the idea of a second term for Mr. Obama."

Meanwhile, controversial conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh urged voters to ignore the "bogus" polls, saying that pollsters oversampled Democrats. He said, "They’re trying to wrap this up before the debates even start, because I think they’re worried about the debates," according to Politico.

"I think they’re trying to get this election finished and in the can by suppressing your vote and depressing you so that you just don’t think there’s any reason to vote, that it’s hopeless. They want you making other plans," Limbaugh said.

Restating that the polls oversampled Democrats, he said, "There could be a lot of reasons for this. Voter suppression, voter depression, set up the possibility of allegations of voter fraud."