The latest round of Quinnipiac University swing state polls released this morning offer as much to frighten as cheer both President Obama and Mitt Romney. In that way, they capture the crosswinds that today point toward a closely fought, sharply polarized, and probably highly negative, campaign through November.
The best news for Obama, of course, is that he leads in all three states Quinnipiac surveyed: Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. If Obama captures any two of those three, he almost certainly will win reelection.
But while the surveys show Obama leading Romney, they also place the president below 50 percent in all three states, both in his share of the vote and his job approval rating. In Ohio, the results on both fronts (47 percent vote share, 48 percent approval) are actually encouraging for the president. In Florida, probably the longest reach of the three states for him this fall, the numbers are equivocal: 45 percent of the vote, and 47 percent approval. In Pennsylvania, the numbers should be flat-out worrisome for the Obama campaign: both his vote share and approval rating stand at just 45 percent. That in a state where Obama last time captured over 54 percent of the vote.