A majority of voters in the three most-important swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing and most believe he does not deserve re-election.
The voters' most-favored Republican: Mitt Romney, who is statistically tied in theoretical matchups with Obama. Only in Florida, though, does Romney show a lead against Obama by 45-42 percent split, according to the poll of registered voters.
"Of these three swing states President Obama carried in 2008, Florida was the biggest surprise and had the closest margin," Pollster Peter A. Brown said in a written statement. "Florida is shaping up to be the closest swing state again in 2012 and it's a fair bet that a year from now, it will be the toughest of the Big Three for Obama to carry."
But Romney might not get to face Obama if the election were held today. The poll shows that Florida Republican voters favor Herman Cain over Romney by a 27-21 percent split. Newt Gingrich is in third with 17 percent. Cain also leads Romney in Ohio, with Gingrich in third. The two are tied in Pennsylvania at 17 percent each, with Gingrich tying for third with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Cain's lead might be short-lived amid numerous allegations that he sexually harassed women -- charges he vehemently denies. The polls, though, show Cain is starting to have a problem with female voters. At last night's debate, Cain might have done little to turn that around when he derisively referred to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as "Princess Nancy," a phrase that led some Republican women to react negatively on Twitter.
Florida: Cain 27 percent, Romney 21 percent, Gingrich 17 percent Perry at 5 percent in the Republican primary. In a general-election matchup, Romney leads Obama 45-42 percent.
Ohio: voters disapprove of Obama's job performance by a 50 - 44 percent split, with 46 percent he saying he should be re-elected and 48 percent saying he should.
Pennsylvania: Cain and Romney are tied at 17 percent, Santorum and Gingrich are tied at 13 percent, Perry and Paul are at 5 percent in the Republican primary. Romney matches up best against Obama, by a 43-44 percent split.
Pennsylvania: voters disapprove of Obama's job performance by a 52 - 44 percent split and say by a 50 - 46 margin that he does not deserve reelection.
A breakdown of the sample sizes, which consultants of both parties and other pollsters are sure to say improperly models the electorate:
1,185 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent, including 513 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent;
1,312 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent, including 443 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent;
1,436 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent, including 579 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.