WASHINGTON (AFP) — Republican John McCain leads Barack Obama in two presidential swing states, as some of Hillary Clinton's core supporters shun the Democratic front-runner, polls showed Thursday.
The Quinnipiac University surveys had McCain up 45 to 41 percent on the Illinois senator in Florida, the epicenter of the 2000 recount drama, which also helped President George W. Bush back to the White House in 2004.
In Ohio, another vital battleground that narrowly went for Bush last time around, McCain leads Obama 44 percent to 40 percent.
Obama however leads McCain in Pennsylvania, by 46 to 40 percent. The state is a must-win for Democrats eyeing the White House.
The poll also appeared to bolster Clinton's arguments that she and not Obama is the best bet for Democrats to take on McCain in states likely to shape the outcome in November's general election.
She led Arizona Senator McCain in all three states, in which she also won in primary votes against Obama. The former first lady led 48 to 41 percent in both Florida and Ohio and by 50-37 percent in Pennsylvania.
The poll showed that between 26 and 36 percent of Clinton supporters in primaries in the three states would switch to McCain if Obama, vying to become the first black US president, becomes the Democratic nominee.
Only 10 to 18 percent of Obama supporters would shun Clinton for McCain, the data suggested.
Such polls are however only a snapshot of the race more than five months before Americans vote for their next president, and before the general election battle, most likely between McCain and Obama, has properly begun.
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