Clinton Better Against McCain in Ohio, Florida and Pennsvania

In a poll just released by Quinnipiac University, Hillary Clinton is running ahead of John McCain in Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio—three swing states that, according to electoral lore, are necessary to win the presidency.

The poll also shows McCain would beat Barack Obama in both Florida and Ohio:

FLORIDA: Clinton 49 – McCain 41; McCain 44 – Obama 43;
OHIO: Clinton 48 – McCain 38; McCain 43 – Obama 42:
PENNSYLVANIA: Clinton 51 – McCain 37; Obama 47 – McCain 38

If these statistics prove consistent, it’s likely to be cited by both the Clinton and McCain campaigns at some point in the near future. Not that the numbers are a huge surprise — they’re all states that have tilted heavily toward Clinton in the primary, and there’s never been much doubt that she’s superior in Florida and Ohio. But the differences between her performance and Obama’s is stark, and a good talking point.

The one bit of good news for Obama: his hypothetical lead over McCain in Pennsylvania, although smaller than Clinton’s, will provide some grist for his campaign’s argument that the primary loss there was not predictive of weakness in the general.