President Barack Obama holds an edge over presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the competitive states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, a Quinnipiac University poll shows.

Obama leads Romney by 9 percentage points in Ohio, 6 points in Pennsylvania and 4 points in Florida, according to the June 19-25 "swing-state" survey released yesterday. Obama has gained ground in Ohio and Florida, while his lead in Pennsylvania diminished slightly, compared with a Quinnipiac poll released on May 3.

The president's move to stop deportations of some illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children helped win over voters, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Hamden, Conn.-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. The president holds almost a 2-1 lead among Hispanic voters in Florida, the poll found.

"If he can keep those leads in all three of these key swing states through Election Day, he would be virtually assured of re-election," Brown said in a statement. "Of course, the election is more than four months away, which is a lifetime in politics."

No one has won the White House since 1960 without carrying at least two of the three states surveyed in this poll; Obama won all of them in 2008. The three states combined hold 67 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

In Florida, Obama leads Romney 45 percent to 41 percent, the poll showed. In the swing-state poll released May 3, the president led by 1 point, meaning the race in the state was a virtual dead heat.

The revised deportation policy Obama announced June 15 and his June 22 address to the meeting of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- following a Romney speech to the group the previous day -- boosted the president's standing with Hispanics in that state, according to Quinnipiac poll data.

Voters in the other two states in the poll were also supportive, backing the policy 52 percent to 38 percent in Ohio and 51 percent to 41 percent in Pennsylvania.

In the fight to carry Ohio, Obama leads Romney 47 percent to 38 percent, the poll showed. In the May 3 swing-state poll, Obama was up 44 percent to 42 percent.

In Pennsylvania, Obama leads 45 percent to 39 percent in the latest poll; in the survey released May 3 he was backed by 47 percent to Romney's 39 percent. Obama has a 12-point edge with women voters in the state in the latest poll.

The poll's margin of error in each state is plus-or-minus 2.8 percentage points. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,200 voters in Florida, 1,237 in Ohio and 1,252 in Pennsylvania.

Latest videos