(CBS News) With less than six weeks until Election Day, President Obama has opened up significant leads over Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll of likely voters.
Mr. Obama holds a 10-point lead in Ohio among those who say they will definitely vote, a lead propelled by a 25-point advantage among women. Romney holds an 8-point lead among men. The president holds a 35-point edge among voters under 35 years old, and a 5-point lead among those ages 35-64; the two candidates are effectively tied among Ohio seniors. Sixty-two percent of Ohio likely voters say the auto bailout, which had a significant impact on the state's economy, was a success, while just 30 percent say it was a failure.Wednesday; the president led Romney by six points in the state last month.
Mr. Obama also holds a huge lead among women in Pennsylvania, where his advantage overall stands at 12 points. The president leads his opponent by 21-points among women, and they are split among men. The two candidates also split the support of whites, but the president holds an 87 percent to 11 percent lead among nonwhites. Romney holds a 5-point lead among Pennsylvania seniors, but that is more than offset by the president's 14-point lead among those ages 35-64 and 34-point lead among those under 35.
In Florida, Mr. Obama's edge over Romney has risen from three points before the political conventions to nine points today. His gains are due to improved performance among women, white voters and seniors. Nearly half of Florida Democrats now say they are more enthusiastic about voting than in the past - up from 24 percent at the start of August, and only slightly less than the percentage of Florida Republicans who are more enthusiastic. Two in three Florida likely voters support the DREAM Act policies put in place by the president to allow young illegal immigrants who came to the country as children to obtain work permits and not face deportation.
Here are the overall figures: Mr. Obama leads 53 percent to 43 percent in Ohio. He leads 54 percent to 42 percent in Pennsylvania. And he leads 53 percent to 44 percent in Florida. In all three states, the president is seen as better able to handle the economy. And in all three states, majorities of voters think Romney's policies will favor the rich.
The poll is not all bad news for Romney. The race is far closer among voters who say they are paying a lot of attention to the campaign - it's a tie among that group in Ohio, and Mr. Obama's lead in Florida shrinks to four among this subset. And in two of the states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Republicans remain considerably more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting this year.
Still, there is little here for the Republican presidential nominee to celebrate. Mr. Obama holds six point leads in Ohio and Pennsylvania on the question of who would do a better job on the economy, and a five point lead on that question in Florida. Last month, Romney led in Florida on handling the economy.
And in the wake of the release of Romney's secretly-recorded "47 percent" comments, 56 percent of Florida likely voters, 58 percent of Ohio likely voters, and 59 percent of Pennsylvania likely voters say his policies would favor the rich.