PPP's newest Presidential polls in Michigan and Pennsylvania find Barack Obama with healthy leads in both states. He's up by 14 points, 53-39, in Michigan and by 6 points, 49-43, in Pennsylvania. We last looked at each of these states in May. Speaking to the stability of the Presidential race over the last couple months the Michigan result is exactly identical to the last poll, and the Pennsylvania poll differs only slightly from Obama's 50-42 advantage on the previous one.
There are a couple common themes driving Obama's success in these states. The biggest is his competitiveness with white voters. He actually leads 48-44 with them in Michigan, and he just narrowly trails 46-45 with them in Pennsylvania. Given the healthy sized African American populations in both those states anything close to a split with white voters will give Obama an easy victory. Obama is also benefiting from a huge lead with women in both states, 59-33 in Michigan and 54-37 in Pennsylvania, which helps him offset a closer race with men. And he has the upper hand with independents in both states, 50-37 in Michigan and 46-39 in Pennsylvania.
One thing that could be a huge game changer in both of these states? Mitt Romney selecting Condoleezza Rice as his running mate. She would give him a 6 point advantage both places, pulling him into a tie in Pennsylvania at 45-45 and narrowing the gap in Michigan to 50/42. Rice is a very unusually popular political figure. In Pennsylvania her favorability rating is 60/27 and in Michigan it's 56/28. She's even seen favorably by Democrats- 47/38 in Pennsylvania and 41/40 in Michigan- in both states. Her selection has the potential to be a game changer.
-Despite his lead Obama's approval numbers in Pennsylvania continue to be a little bit worrisome. Only 46% of voters approve of him to 50% who disapprove. His numbers are better in Michigan where he has a 51% approval rating to 44% who are unhappy with him.
-Romney continues to have personal likability issues in both states. In Pennsylvania his favorability rating is 39/51 and in Michigan it's 38/55.
-Romney still isn't enjoying much of a homefield advantage in Michigan. Only 22% of voters consider him to be a Michigander to 67% who do not. And there's not a lot of question among folks there about who's been better for the automotive industry- 55% pick Obama to 29% for Romney, and it's an even wider 55/23 among independents.
-In Pennsylvania voters think Romney should release 12 years of his tax returns by a 62/31 margin, and in Michigan that spread is 58/34.
Full results here