Bit long and detailed - but to get the sense of how tight numbers are right now.
In one set of polls, conducted by The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, and Marist College, President Obama and Mitt Romney are in a dead heat among likely voters in Florida and Virginia. But in Ohio, Obama is leading.
A slew of battleground-state polls out Thursday shows a presidential race that has tightened in several key states, echoing national polls that show a bounce for Republican Mitt Romney after his strong debate performance Oct. 3.
In one set of polls, conducted by The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, and Marist College, President Obama and Mr. Romney are in a dead heat among likely voters in Florida (Obama 48 percent, Romney 47 percent) and in Virginia (Romney 48, Obama 47). In Ohio, Obama leads 51 percent to 45 percent.
Earlier this month, before the debate, Romney trailed in Ohio by eight percentage points, 51-43, according to the same poll. In Virginia, he trailed 48-46, and in Florida, it was Obama 47, Romney 46.
The other set of polls, by The New York Times, CBS News, and Quinnipiac University, showed slight gains for Romney among likely voters in Wisconsin, Virginia, and Colorado since September. In Wisconsin, Obama now leads 50-47, compared with 51-45 a month ago. In Colorado, the race is still in a statistical dead heat, but with Romney now up 1 percentage point, 48-47, instead of down a point, where he was a month ago.
And in Virginia, Obama still has a clear lead over Romney, 50-46, but down a point from September, when he led 51-46. Virginia is the only state that both polls surveyed, and if the results are averaged, Virginia is also in a dead heat.
The last new swing-state poll out Thursday, by Suffolk University in Boston, shows Nevada likely voters going for Obama, but by only 2 percentage points, 47 percent to 45 percent – within the poll’s margin of error of 4 percent.
All of these states went for Obama four years ago, and if Romney is to unseat the incumbent, he has to win most of them. So, he still has his work cut out for him. The debate Thursday night between Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, and Vice President Joe Bidenis a critical step along the way. Typically, vice presidential debates don’t matter, but in this case, Congressman Ryan has an opportunity to keep his ticket’s momentum going. Mr. Biden’s task is to halt that narrative of an incumbent administration on the ropes.