The Fox Swing State Survey

In a week of very good news from the pollsters for Barack Obama, this has to be the best yet: a Fox News survey of registered voters in ten “swing states” (CO, FL, IA, NV, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, WI) awarding a total of 131 electoral votes. Overall, Obama leads Romney in these states by a 47-39 margin, and leads Santorum by a 48-39 margin. His margin against Romney in “swing states” is actually better than in the most recent national Fox poll, which showed him leading 47-42.

The poll results are not broken down by individual state (except for OH), but are arranged by region. Interestingly, Obama’s best “swing state” region is in the South (FL, NC, VA) where he leads Romney 51-37 and Santorum 57-29, and enjoys a 50/39 approval/disapproval ratio. He also leads Romney 47-40, and Santorum 51-37, in the three Rocky Mountain states (CO, NV), NM). On the other hand, Obama is shown as weaker in the Rust Belt states (IA, OH, PA, WI) than he is nationally, leading Romney 43-42 and tying Santorum 43-43. And in OH, the poll has Obama actually trailing both Romney (38-44) and Santorum (40-43).

To a chattering class used to thinking of Ohio as the ball game, these results may seem at best mixed for the incumbent, or even ominous, and certainly that’s how some Republicans will likely spin it all. But if Obama is actually romping in southern swing states, you have to figure he’s doing especially well in Florida, and some pundits may not have yet internalized the fact that the latest reapportionment boosted FL’s electoral votes to 29 while lowering OH’s to 18 (and PA’s to 20).

In any event, an eight-point overall lead for Obama in swing states is nothing to sneeze at, particularly if the messenger for that news is Fox.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.