Quinnipiac FL/OH/PA polls: McCain gains, voters want to drill

July 31, 2008 – Obama Tour Doesn’t Help In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Voters Care More About Energy Than Iraq — FLORIDA: Obama 46 – McCain 44; OHIO: Obama 46 – McCain 44; PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 49 – McCain 42

With likely voters concerned more about energy than the war in Iraq, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s recent tour apparently didn’t help, as Arizona Sen. John McCain gained on the Democratic front- runner in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to simultaneous Quinnipiac University Swing State polls released today.

Florida and Ohio are now too close to call. No one has been elected President since 1960 without taking two of these three largest swing states in the Electoral College. Results from the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack)

*Florida: Obama has 46 percent to McCain’s 44 percent, compared to a 47 – 43 percent Obama lead June 18; *)

Ohio: Obama has 46 percent to McCain’s 44 percent, compared to a 48 – 42 percent Obama lead least time;

*Pennsylvania: Obama leads McCain 49 – 42 percent, compared to 52 – 40 percent. *

By margins of 27 to 30 percentage points, voters in each state say Congress should agree with President George W. Bush and allow offshore drilling for oil. Sen. McCain supports offshore drilling, while Sen. Obama opposes it.

“The $64,000 question is whether Sen. John McCain’s surge is a result of Sen. Obama’s much-publicized Middle Eastern and European trip, or just a coincidence that it occurred while Sen. Obama was abroad,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“While Obama was on tour, trying to show voters he could handle world affairs, voters were home trying to fill their gas tanks,” Brown added.

“The same voters who give President George W. Bush job approval ratings that are more than 2 – 1 negative want Congress to go along with the President on offshore oil drilling. McCain clearly sees public support for drilling as a means to challenge Obama’s claim to be the best candidate to fix the economy. More voters still say Obama has the best energy plan. Whether that’s because they don’t know the specifics of each man’s plan, or just don’t think drilling is important enough to swing their votes, is the great unknown.