PRINCETON, NJ -- Registered voters in 12 key swing states give a slight edge to the two leading Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, over Barack Obama as their preference for president in the 2012 election. Nationally, Obama fares somewhat better, essentially tying Romney and leading Gingrich by a six-percentage-point margin.
The "swing state" results are from the second USA Today/Gallup Swing States poll, based on Nov. 30-Dec. 7 Gallup Daily tracking of registered voters in 12 states that will be among the most crucial to winning the 2012 presidential election. The states include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The national results are based on Dec. 6-7 Gallup Daily tracking of registered voters.
These results continue to indicate a largely divided electorate 11 months before the Nov. 6 presidential vote and before the final GOP nominee is determined. But the slight edge for the GOP candidates in the 12 swing states is significant given that President Obama won each of these swing states in 2008 and will need to win a healthy percentage of them again to retain his office for a second term. (Continues here at Gallup)