Pennsylvania, Ohio voters unhappy with Obama, Quinnipiac polls say

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President Obama continues to have trouble in Pennsylvania and Ohio as a majority of voters in those battleground states said that he does not deserve to be reelected, according to two Quinnipiac University polls released on Wednesday.

Obama carried both states in 2008, but the latest polls show that he would have a tough, though not impossible, time repeating in 2012. Still. it takes a candidate to beat a candidate, and in both states Obama is running very slightly ahead of either Texas Gov. Rick Perry or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the top contestants in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have made repeated visits to both states, and Biden, the former senator from Delaware, has strong roots in Pennsylvania. But both states have been hard hit in the recent economic downturns, and the midterm elections showed Republicans making strong comebacks winning the governor’s offices and five House seats in each of the states.


According to the poll, only 43% of those surveyed in Pennsylvania said they approved of how Obama was doing his job, while 51% said he doesn’t deserve to be reelected. In Ohio, just 42% approved of the job he was doing and 51% said the president should not be reelected.

In Pennsylvania, the president leads Romney by 45% to 43%, a virtual dead heat, given the margin of error, and he leads Perry 46% to 40%. In Ohio, Obama leads Perry 44% to 41% and Romney 44% to 42%.

Even though the numbers are similar in Ohio, Perry, as expected, is doing especially well among conservatives.

“The Republican presidential race in Ohio at this point is shifting back and forth between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Perry’s strength is among two large constituencies within the Republican coalition. In a two-man race, Perry defeats Romney 57% to 30% among Republicans who consider themselves part of the “tea party” movement. He leads Romney 48% to 33% among Republicans who are white, evangelical Christians.

The Pennsylvania poll questioned 1,370 registered voters between Sept. 21 and 26. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. The poll includes 541 Republicans; the margin of error for questions they answered is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

In Ohio, 1,301 registered voters were surveyed from Sept. 20 to 25. The overall margin of error is also 2.7 percentage points. The poll includes 423 Republicans; the margin of error for questions they answered increases to plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.