Polls: Obama Leading in 3 Crucial Swing States

President Obama popular with women in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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Good news for President Obama—he is leading in three swing states that will be crucial to the outcome of the November election.

Separate polls by Quinnipiac University show Obama ahead of Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney by 7 percentage points in Florida (49-42), 6 points in Ohio (47-41), and 3 points in Pennsylvania (48-45). In early December, Romney led narrowly in both Florida and Ohio and trailed by the same margin in Pennsylvania.

[See pictures of Obama's re-election campaign.]

In the current polls, Obama leads GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum by even greater margins: 13 points in Florida, 7 in Ohio and 7 in Pennsylvania, which Santorum represented in Congress and the Senate for 16 years.

There appear to be two big reasons for Obama's progress. One is increasing voter confidence that the economy is improving, albeit slowly. About 60 percent of the voters in the three states say the economy is recovering.

[Read GOP Continues To Hammer Obama for Open Mic Comments.]

The second reason for Obama's improved position is that women voters are moving his way, according to Quinnipiac. Romney runs about even with Obama among men in the three swing states, but he is losing among women, with margins ranging from six to 19 points. The pollsters suggested that many women aren't pleased with the Republicans' recent emphasis on social issues, such as contraception, when they are more worried about the economy.

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