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According to Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation polls conducted in Florida, Ohio and Virginia and released Thursday, registered voters trust Obama over Romney to handle Medicare by wide margins. Respondents preferred Obama on the issue by 53 percent to 38 percent in Florida, 56 percent to 37 percent in Ohio and 52 percent to 39 percent in Virginia. More than 70 percent of voters in each state said they consider Medicare either "very" or "extremely" important to their vote.
Similarly, CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac surveys in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania found that likely voters think Obama would do a better job than Romney on handling Medicare: 55 percent to 40 percent in Florida, 55 percent to 39 percent in Ohio and 55 percent to 39 percent in Pennsylvania.
A USA Today/Gallup poll in 12 swing states found a smaller advantage for Obama: 50 percent to 44 percent. The Gallup poll pooled registered voters in the 12 states and did not break results out for individual states.
Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate brought Medicare to the forefront of the presidential campaign, as Democrats tried to tie Romney to Ryan's proposal to redesign the health insurance program. Since the Ryan pick, the two campaigns have traded barbs and attack ads attempting to portray the other as undermining Medicare. Surveys released this week in several swing states suggest that President Barack Obama has strengthened his lead on the issue, which could be a problem for Romney in key states like Florida and Ohio.