In Florida, 57 percent of likely voters say Mr. Obama cares about their needs and problems. Just 41 percent say that of Romney. Those figures are even worse for Romney in the other two states surveyed. The president also has an advantage in all three states when voters are asked if they are confident in the candidates' abilities to make decisions about the Middle East and to be an effective commander in chief.
In all three states, Mr. Obama is seen as better able to handle taxes, health care, Medicare, women's health issues, foreign policy, national security, an international crisis and immigration. Romney holds a small edge in all three states when it comes to addressing the budget deficit.
The president's job approval rating in Florida and Ohio is 50 percent, with 47 percent disapproving. His approval rating in Pennsylvania is 51 percent, with 45 percent disapproving. Romney is viewed more unfavorably than favorably in all three states. While likely voters in each of the three swing states have net favorable views of the Democratic Party, they have net unfavorable views of the Republican Party.
In Florida and Ohio, voters are divided as to whether or not their family and the country are better or worse off than they were four years ago. In Pennsylvania, more voters think both their family and the country are worse off.
Voters in all three states are split on whether the government is more successful when it emphasizes community and shared responsibility or when it emphasizes self-reliance and individual responsibility. In all three, they are more likely to say government is doing too many things that should be left to businesses and individuals.
The poll also found that Democratic Senate candidates are leading their Republican opponents in all three states. In Florida, Bill Nelson leads Connie Mack 53 percent to 39 percent; in Ohio, Sherrod Brown leads Josh Mandel 50 percent to 40 percent; and in Pennsylvania, Bob Casey leads Tom Smith 49 percent to 43 percent.
For full poll results, see next page.
This poll was conducted by telephone from Quinnipiac University's interviewing facility September 18--24, 2012. The number of likely voters interviewed in each state is 1,196 in Florida, 1,162 in Ohio and 1,180 in Pennsylvania. In all three states, phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the sample in each state could be plus or minus three percentage points in Florida, Ohio, and in Pennsylvania. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.