Nation & World

Despite 'Joe,' Obama still gaining in key states, poll finds

Barack Obama is gaining support from voters in battleground states long suspicious if not outright hostile to Democrats, thanks to their trust in him to handle the economy, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

"As we enter the home stretch, Senator Obama is winning voter groups that no Democrat has carried in more than four decades, and he holds very solid leads in the big swing states," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"If these numbers hold up, he could win the biggest Democratic landslide since Lyndon Johnson in 1964."

In three pivotal states, McCain has narrowed the gap in Florida, but continued to lose ground in Ohio and hasn't managed to make significant gains on Obama in Pennsylvania.

The poll showed:

-In Florida, Obama leads by 5 points. He led by 8 at the beginning of the month;

-In Ohio, Obama leads by 14, up from 12;

-In Pennsylvania, Obama leads by 13, down slightly from 14 points.

Obama owes his lead to the economy, and the fact it's driving voters to him across the board, the university found.

"Senator Obama is no longer the candidate of the young, the well-educated and minorities. He is now virtually the candidate of the 'all.' He is winning among all age groups in all three states. He wins women by more than 20 points in Ohio and Pennsylvania and is competitive among men in all three states. Whether voters went to college or not, they are voting for him," Brown said.

"Perhaps the most remarkable development is that Obama is doing significantly better among white, born-again evangelicals in Ohio and Pennsylvania than did Democratic nominee John Kerry four years ago. He also is winning Roman Catholics in those states, historically the key swing voter group in the electorate and synonymous here with the blue-collar vote."

Read the Qunnipiac release.

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