A new Quinnipiac University poll of Pennsylvania shows Barack Obama expanding his lead over Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, 47%-39%.
Considering it's a blue state, that's not surprising, but a Romney win in PA would be huge and is one way he could overcome losing some smaller swing states like North Carolina and Colorado.
And it's not out of the realm of possibility. Three Q surveys since November have had him within the margin of error, but it'll still be a tough buggy for Romney to ride.
Key internals that show just how hard this buggy ride is for Mitt.
a. Independents are key, and they choose Obama.
In Ohio and Florida, Romney leads with independents, but Obama reverses that by a solid number in PA, 45%-36%.
b. Gender gap favors Obama... big time.
Women pick Obama by 17%, while men only choose Romney by 3%. Once again, those numbers are far steeper than in other battlegrounds and suggest just how difficult it will be for Romney to pull PA off.
c. Whites (barely) favor Romney.
If Mitt wants to win, he'll have to do much better with whites. He only leads by 4%, while Obama has a 94%-1% lead among blacks (That's right. Mitt is at 1%).
Meanwhile, white women choose Obama by 2%. That's way lower than Florida, where white women actually favor Romney by 17%. Again, totally different ball game (maybe even a different sport) in PA.
d. Obama sweeps income groups.
Remember how Romney won every income group except the very poorest in Florida?
Well, Obama goes 4-0 in Pennsylvania.
e. Obama has much higher favorability numbers.
His favs are 12% higher than Romney's, overall, and 15% higher among independents.
f. Enthusiasm gap still favors Romney.
As in Ohio and Florida, Republicans are more enthusiastic (+12%) than Democrats.
g. Christie for VP.
Not surprisingly considering New Jersey's overlap with parts of PA, Chris Christie is the most popular choice for VP. 28% of all voters want Romney to pick him, while 15% want Rubio.
h. Obama's approval reaches 50%.
He's at +4% with all voters and at +9% with independents.
That +4% number is the highest and only positive figure in the past 6 months, so he's clearly trending in a good direction.
As importantly, voters think he deserves reelection (+4%), and indies do, as well (+7%).
Again, that's the first time he's been on the right side of the ledger in the past six months.
i. Obama tied with Romney on the economy.
Mitt leads Obama on this question in both Ohio and Florida, but only manages a tie with Obama here, even though an overwhelming number (+41%) thinks the economy is still in recession.