(CNN) - A new poll shows razor-thin margins in potential matchups between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in three critical battleground states.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday shows tight races between Obama and Romney, as well as former restaurant executive Herman Cain, in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Obama narrowly won all three of those states in 2008, and all carry large numbers of electoral votes.
In Florida, Romney beats Obama 45%-42%. The poll's sampling error was 2.9% Obama eked out a narrow victory against Sen. John McCain in the Sunshine State in 2008 and will need to win the state again in 2012. Florida carries 29 electoral votes.
In a matchup with Cain, Obama edges the former Godfather's Pizza executive 45%-41%. The Quinnipiac poll was taken October 31-November 7 while Cain was battling accusations of sexual misconduct during his time as head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
In Ohio, 45% of likely voters chose Obama while 42% picked Romney. That is outside the poll's sampling error of 2.7%. Obama also beats Cain, 48%-38%. Obama won Ohio by a narrow margin in 2008.
The race in Pennsylvania between Obama and Romney is in a statistical dead heat with Obama at 44% and Romney 43%, within the poll's sampling error of 2.6%. Obama holds a more commanding lead over Cain, 48%-38%. Obama won Pennsylvania by nearly 10 points in 2008.
The Quinnipiac poll also asked Republican voters their choice for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. In Florida, which holds an early primary on January 31, Cain leads Romney 27%-21%. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich came in third with 17%. The rest of the candidates registered in the single digits.
Cain was also at the top of the poll in Ohio, beating Romney by five points. In Pennsylvania, Cain and Romney are tied at 17% each.
A majority of voters in all three states say the economy is the most important issue going into the 2012 election, with health care and immigration issues coming in distant second and third places.
The telephone poll of adult voters surveyed 1,185 voters in Florida, 1,312 in Ohio and 1,436 in Pennsylvania.
President Obama will widen His lead after the first head to head debate. Obama/Biden 2012
Mr. Mitt (I sent millions of American jobs oversees) Romney has some explaining to do to the American Taxpayer. I'm waiting..........
its going to be a close race regardless of the republican nominee or the state of the economy there are many on both sides of the aisle who are so closed minded to what direction this man and this awesome open minded administration is taking this young country just simply want to obstruct never part of the solution short changing the american people
It is a long way to election day. I have to say that it could be someone other than Romney who wins the nomination. I'd like to see the nomination race come down to Santorum, Paul and Bachmann. That would be an interesting debate. Romney certainly is running well on both sides of some issues, but we'll have to see if he can fend off Cain with his crazy 9-9-9 plan which will hurt those with less income.
Pump up the hype, who are you polling, people who live under a rock? This country is getting scarier by the minute. Who in their right minds would evern consider Romney or Cain over President Obama? Sad
In Florida, a large part of our population is made up of seniors and veterans who are desperate to elect a republican who has promised to eliminate social security, medicare and veterans benefits. Mittens is their dream come true.
Obama is bleach
Romney just lost the middle class vote. In last nights debates with one very stupid remark Romney said he would not have helped bail out the automotive industry in 2009. What Obama did was save thousands of jobs in the auto industry which is now profitable. Romney is not just a poor businessman, he's only for the rich. America is through with that thinking.
Mitt Romney / Rick Scott
2012 / Corporate integrity
Mittens may not have helped the auto industry with a loan, but he will take credit for it.
It's a long time until the nominee is selected. It could be any of the eight and any would be huge improvement over the present occupant of the White House.
Can the media please explain this – Why did the economy collapse in 2008? Then can the explain where the markets were at and where they dropped to? Next, list all the things Obama did to stop the collapse? Tell us which ones worked and which ones didn't. Next, can you explain to us where the markets are at today? We know they're not stable, but compare today to 2008. Then can you re-explain how we got in the mess? Then can you compare the mistakes we made pre-2008 to the republican platform? Vote Cain – let's get it over with..................
I wish Texas would leave the union..as they always wanted. We have taken all of it's oil and now the only thing the state has to offer are posturizing cowboys who think they have a clue.
Last night Mitt Romney didn’t perform good, he was nervous because of Rick Perry bad performance Romney look better
When Christian Conservatives accept the book of mormon as an addition to the Bible like the LDS does, then I will believe Mitt Romney can beat Obama. Until then it ain't gonna happen. Sorry Mitt it's your party.
Romney is a flip floper and president Obama will beat Mitt anytime in the debate.
The stiff won't stand a chance against our president. He can't even get enough of his own party to support him and that says a lot about the confidence they have in him. I can't wait until he gets the chance to defend his lies on a national stage. The only reason he looks able on stage now is because the rest of his party is unable. President Obama will send this unAmerican jerk back to the unemployment line where he belongs and out of the public eye for good.
If Cain leads Romney in Florida, Cain is also on top of Romney in Ohio and are both tied in Pennsylvania, what is the point of making a comparison between Romney with Pres. Obama? If this poll is true, it means Romney can not pass the primaries, thus can not compete with the President.
That looks like good news for Obama.... Romney has been bashing him for three years, and Obama hasn't even started campaigning.
Americans hate flip-flopping, and there is hardly a single issue that Romney hasn't flipped on ... and always at a strategic moment when his old position didn't work anymore.
How come Romney gets a pass from Moderators every time. He says no bureauracy for healthcare and his universal healthcare solution in mA is bureacucractic solution which he also proudly claims as being sucessful and the lowest number of uninsureds in the country.
I wonder how many Americans could actually accept someone who believes that the garden of eden was in the state of Missouri?
Once you answer that question, then you'll know how many Americans will vote for Mitt Romney.
Yes, they believe it is Missouri
howudothat: "Why did the economy collapse in 2008? Then can the explain where the markets were at and where they dropped to? Next, list all the things Obama did to stop the collapse?"
A simple check will tell you that Obama wasn't President in 2008 when it collapsed.
I know I’m nitpicking but I find the subtle pro vs con interesting in these type of stories. We all have our favorites and there is nothing wrong that. If you take a look at how these are phrased you can clearly see how the writer is pro-Republican “In Florida, Romney beats Obama 45%-42%. The poll's sampling error was 2.9%.” The key word here is “BEATST” it says unequivocally that the Republican beats the Democrat by 3%. Yet in this statement “ In a matchup with Cain, Obama edges the former Godfather's Pizza executive 45%-41%.” The key word is “EDGES” it implies that winner is not really a winner because they barely won and yet the Democrat beats the Republican by 4% points and that is barely a win compared to Romney triumph defeat of Obama by 3%. Interesting that a 4% is “edge” and 3% not an “edge”. Not criticizing just find it very interesting.
By Obama's OWN criteria (think it went something like "if things haven't improved in 3 years then I suspect this will be a one term proposition") he is a failure and should be FIRED in 2012. And that is exactly what the American people will do. It ha sbecome painfully clear he is clueless and in WAY over his head. Lesson learned: never send a socialist to fix a capitalist country.