President Obama’s national polling lead has extended to three key swing states, according to new data in Ohio, Virginia and Florida.
The surveys from Marist College, commissioned by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, show Obama leading Mitt Romney among likely voters by 7 points in Ohio (50 percent to 43 percent), and by 5 points in Virginia and Florida (49 percent to 44 percent in both states).
Obama’s management of the economy is being viewed more favorably. He leads Romney on who is seen as a better manager of the economy in Ohio, and is even in Virginia and Florida.
“You’d rather be in Obama’s shoes than Romney’s in these three critical states,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, told MSNBC’s First Read blog.
Obama is up in the crucial state of Ohio by 2.2 percent in the PollTracker Average of all public polling.
The president’s job approval has ticked up over the course of the campaign, and was pushed higher by the Democratic National Convention. “Obama’s job-approval ratings — 50 percent in Ohio and 49 percent in Florida and Virginia — exactly match his ballot position against Romney in these states,” NBC wrote.
Obama outpaces Romney on favorability — even though the former governor runs about even among voters in all three states, Obama is seen favorably by 53 percent in Virginia and 51 percent in Florida. Romney is in the most trouble in Ohio, where Obama is viewed favorably by 51 percent of respondents, and viewed unfavorably by 44 percent; Romney is viewed favorably by 40 percent of Ohio respondents, and unfavorably by 50 percent.
Pollsters said there may not be much room for movement in the last seven weeks of the election:
What’s particularly striking about these polls, Miringoff observes, is how most voters in these battleground states have already made up their minds, with just 5 to 6 percent saying they’re undecided, and with more than 80 percent signaling that they strongly support their candidate.
“Those who are thinking of voting have pretty much picked sides,” he says.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.