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John McCain trend detected in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida polls

July 31, 2008 | 11:39 am

The Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which is focusing on several of the states that presumably will tell the tale of this year's presidential race, is out with results from three of those locales that can be spun positively by either campaign -- though John McCain's camp can make a better case than Barack Obama's.

Surveys of voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida show Obama ahead in each -- though by margins so negligible in the latter two that the contests there, as gauged by the Quinnipiac polls, are essentially tossups.

And in all three states, the trend -- compared to polls by the group a month ago -- favored McCain.

Here are the new results, compared to the previous ones:

Florida: Obama 46%, McCain 44% (in June, Obama 47%, McCain 43%).

Ohio: Obama 46%, McCain 44% (in June, Obama 48%, McCain 42%).

Pennsylvania: Obama 49%, McCain 42% (in June, Obama 52%, McCain 40%).

The movement toward McCain is in line with recent polling by Quinnipiac in four other key states: Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin (as The Ticket reported last week).

The solace for Obama in today's polls (elaborated on by assistant survey director in this Quinnipiac release) is that his lead in Pennsylvania -- a must-win for him -- remains outside the margin of error.

Also, if Obama can snatch either Ohio or Florida from the Republican column -- and that's obviously doable, based on the news polls -- it's hard to see how McCain can amass the 270 electoral votes needed for the White House.

-- Don Frederick