(CNN) – Polls released Wednesday showed President Barack Obama narrowly edging his Republican rival Mitt Romney in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio – three battlegrounds that went for Obama in 2008 but will be toss ups in November.
The polls from Quinnipiac University showed Obama with a razor-thin four point advantage in Florida, 45%-41%. That was within the poll's 2.8% sampling error. In Pennsylvania, Obama's led Romney 45%-39%, and in Ohio, the Democratic incumbent was ahead 47%-38%.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
"President Barack Obama has decent margins over Gov. Mitt Romney in Ohio and Pennsylvania and a smaller advantage in Florida. If he can keep those leads in all three of these key swing states through election day he would be virtually assured of re-election," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, wrote in a statement accompanying the poll's release.
"Of course the election is more than four months away, which is a lifetime in politics," Brown added.
In Florida, Obama's small advantage is bolstered by strong backing from Florida Latinos, who support Obama over Romney 56%-32%.
The president and Romney both addressed a Latino gathering in Orlando last week following Obama's decision in early June to allow some young illegal immigrants to avoid deportation. Wednesday poll showed a jump in Latino support for Obama in Florida from earlier in June, when he enjoyed a ten point lead over Romney.
Floridians, by large measure, support Obama's immigration directive, which would allow some young people brought to the United States illegally to apply for a work permit. Applicants must be under the age of 30 and brought to the U.S. before the age of 16, have been in the country for at least five consecutive years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or served in the military.
Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed in Florida support Obama's new immigration measure, compared to 33% who do not support the initiative. Overall, 46% said Obama would do a better job than Romney handling immigration.
On the economy, however, Floridians were more confident in Romney. Forty-six percent said the former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential candidate would handle the economy better, compared to 44% who named Obama.
Florida, which went for Obama in 2008 by two points, is considered a "toss up" in 2012 on CNN's Electoral Map.
In Pennsylvania, a state the president also won in 2008, Obama's lead is strengthened by strong gender gap. He leads Romney 48%-36% among women, while among men, he's statistically tied with Romney, 41%-42%.
Pennsylvanians were split on which candidate would do a better job handling the economy, with 44% naming Obama and 44% naming Romney. Those numbers reflect a shift from previous polls, which gave Romney an edge on handling of the economy.
"For much of the last year, more voters in these swing states have said Romney would do a better job on the economy. That advantage has largely disappeared, at least for now," Brown wrote.
Pennsylvania is rated "Lean Obama" on the CNN Electoral Map.
Ohio, which the CNN Map rates a "Toss Up," also showed a marked gender gap on presidential preference. Men were split, with 45% backing Obama and 42% backing Romney. Women, however, were more likely to back Obama, with 50% saying the support the president and 35% backing Romney.
Obama was well ahead of Romney on favorability – 50% said they viewed the president favorably, compared to only 32% who said the same of his Republican opponent. On the flip side, 44% viewed Obama unfavorably, compared to 46% viewed Romney that way.
"The horse race numbers reflect the general view of voters that they like the president better," Brown said. "Obama has a net favorable view among Ohio voters and he is viewed evenly by those in Pennsylvania and Florida, while Romney's favorable/unfavorable ratio is negative in all three states."
The Quinnipiac Poll was taken by telephone between June 19-25. In each state, the sampling error was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. In Florida, 1,200 voters were surveyed; in Pennsylvania, 1,252 voters were called; and in Ohio, 1,237 were polled.
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
Pawlenty: I'm best as a volunteer
Romney adviser: Obama immigration measure subject to repeal
Romney makes rounds at donor retreat
Jarrett to NABJ: White House bracing for health care decision
If Romney loses Florida, there is no realistic scenario in which he can win. If Romney loses Ohio, Ohio has sided with the winner in every presidential election since 1960. Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the last 5 presidential elections. Republicans officeholders should consider skipping the Republican National Convention if they want to hang on to their jobs.
Romney may raise more money from wealthy donors and corporations and outspend Obama, but in the end it will be those who go to the polls and vote who will decide. I don't believe that "he who spends the most wins". My vote is not for sale.
The polls may be a nice time killer but basically they have not meaning now. It will get real interesting in October after the Presidential Debates between the GOP nominee Romney and President Obama.
The voter will have a chance to see again clearly the big difference the candidates represent and what that means for them. When the issues are strait forward discussed and how they would affect the people a poll should show something like 1% for Romney and 99% for President Obama! Important are the votes to get the obstructionists out of Congress and Senate so work for the people can finally be done!
Pennsylvania is not a swing state. As Carville says on this very site, "I don't consider Pennsylvania to be a swing state – because if the Democrats lose Pennsylvania, they've lost the election."
Cant wait for the debates. This will put Romney away once and for all.
To the bishop's campaign. The President made a joke in NH about a baseball player and the people up there took it for what it was. He was talking about "sport" (the flip flopper's word) and all of us who follow our teams and think highly of our players would have taken it for what it was A JOKE!!! :) :)
Just because your wooden moron can't tell a joke or get laughs doesn't mean you should use it against the President.
If you had watched more of the gathering you would have heard a woman yell we love you and the applause and cheers. Of course, that doesn't fit into your half truths of anything Obama.
As a voter in Pennsylvanian I can tell you that poll is wrong; wrong like the exit polls in Wisconsin. Pennsylvanians see the Democrats in Congress, president Obama, the Obama administration as a complete FAILURE. The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.
The 1984 Reagan v. Mondale election will look close compared to the landslide Republican win over Democrats in November 2012.
Gas prices just fell under $3 nationwide! Thank you President Obama!
When the needs of the many out weight the needs of the few vote obama
i remembered when obama just took office, how the economy was retracting at 9 percent, and the financial sector and jobs was in a free fall. i remembered how the economy came roaring back when he went with the stimulous, which push the economy into growing at 4 percent, which was a 13 point growth. i remembered 10 months after obama took office, when the nation chose scott brown, because the people said things were moving too fast, that this country stop growing at 13 percent to a measly 2 percent from then on. after scott brown the repubs had the filla buster minority to stop the obama policies in its tracks, and theyve been using it ever since. lesson every president including the repubs god Reagan, use the federal government to get out of financially hit economy. all of a sudden these repubs wants to take all the power from the government, and push it to their internatiional corporations, that are creating more jobs in other countries than america, because of other countries like china cheap labor, while china government is paying their workers minimum wages and using the savings to surpass the united states as the only super power.