President Barack Obama appeared to be pulling ahead of Mitt Romney, his rival, in November elections, when the latest poll results in the key battleground states of Florida and Ohio placed Mr. Obama ahead by around nine per cent.

According to a Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll of likely voters in the two States, Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney by 53 to 44 per cent in Florida and by 53 per cent to 43 per cent in Ohio.

This represents a growing poll advantage for Mr. Obama relative to a slimmer margin of 49 to 46 per cent in a poll taken on August 23, prior to either party holding its nominating national convention. While neither candidate got a major poll “bump” after the conventions, Mr. Obama has consistently maintained a narrow national lead over Mr. Romney across an overwhelming majority of polls.

Another battleground State, Democrat-leaning Pennsylvania, also handed Mr. Obama a 54 to 42 per cent lead. The results came in as both Pennsylvania and Florida, among other U.S. States, continue to be gripped by the so-called “voter suppression” laws controversy, centred on allegations that harsh voter ID requirements may lead to exclusion of Hispanics and African-Americans.

Mr. Obama’s lead has also expanded as the nation gears up for the next major formal election event — the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado, on October 3, where the two candidates will square off directly against each other for the first time in an exchange focussing on domestic policy issues. Two more presidential debates will follow later next month, one each in Hempstead, New York and Boca Raton, Florida.

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