Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate has given him a small bump in two vital swing states — but it is not enough to put him ahead in the presidential races in either Florida or Wisconsin.
And the Republican challenger has failed to move the needle at all in a third marginal state, a new Quinnipiac University survey shows. Figures for Ohio are exactly the same as they were at the start of August.
Ryan does have better favorability figures that vice president Joe Biden in all three states, the poll, conducted for CBS News and the New York Times shows among likely voters shows. But it is only in his home state — Wisconsin — that voters think he is better prepared to step in to the president’s shoes.
The figures show that In Florida, Obama’s six percentage point lead of August 1 has been cut to three points, with the president now leading there by 49 percent to 46 percent.
In Ohio, Obama maintains a six point edge, 50 percent to 44 percent, exactly the same as the last time the university polled there on Aug 1.
And in Wisconsin, Romney is nipping at Obama’s heels, with the president leading by two points, 49 percent to 47 percent. Obama had a six point lead in the last poll on Aug. 8.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the university’s polling institute described the poll results as “a micro-bump” for the Romney campaign. He said the choice of Ryan has made “a small difference,” in the two states.
When it comes to the idea of the size of government, Brown said Romney wins. “Solid majorities in each state agree with Romney that government – presumably the Obama administration – is doing too many things that should be left to the private sector,” Brown said.
However the future of Medicare is now seen as a weak spot for the Republicans with Obama coming out well ahead in all three states when the subject is raised, and approximately six out of 10 voters wanting the system to continue as it is.
On other issues:
• Obama has a significant lead in all three states when voters are asked which candidate “cares about the needs and problems of people like you;”
• Of the three states, Wisconsin seems the best chance for the Republicans to pick up a Senate seat. The GOP’s Tommy Thompson is leading rival Tammy Baldwin by 50 percent to 44 percent in the race to succeed retiring Democrat Herb Kohl. But incumbent Democrats Bill Nelson in Florida and Sherrod Brown in Ohio hold leads of 9 and 7 points respectively over their Republican rivals;
• Voters view Republican governors John Kasich in Ohio and Scott Walker favorably. However Rick Scott in Florida gets a negative 41 percent to 47 percent rating;
• By roughly two-to-one, voters in each state want taxes on higher earners to be increased to reduce the federal deficit;
• Romney is viewed as the better man to deal with the economy, the budget deficit, and the housing market, while Obama wins when it comes to healthcare, foreign policy, and taxes.
The poll was conducted among roughly 1,200 likely voters in each state between Aug. 15 and 21.
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