Two polls released Thursday of likely voters from two key battleground states show that President Barack Obama has a slight advantage over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Nevada, but that the two men remain tied in Colorado.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday – entirely after Monday’s third and final presidential debate. In Colorado, the race is tied at 48 percent for each candidate, while in Nevada voters split 50 percent for Obama and 47 percent for Romney.
The three-point advantage for Obama is within the survey’s sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. An American Research Group poll of Nevada likely voters conducted both before and after Monday’s debate found a similarly close race, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 47 percent.
Experts, however, have varying opinions of the accuracy of the different polls, and whether or not Romney’s initial momentum following the first presidential debate has subsided.
Both candidates appeared in the key swing state of Ohio on Thursday, keenly aware that its 18 electoral votes could be the difference on Nov. 6.
But the Buckeye State is hardly the only set to make an impact on Election Day.
The pollsters said their survey is evidence of a tightening race in Colorado, where Obama broke 50 percent in a mid-September NBC/WSJ poll, with Romney at 45 percent. That survey was conducted after the party conventions, but before the start of the three presidential debates.
Romney’s favorability ratings have increased in both states since that September sample. He improved five percentage points in Colorado (from 43 percent to 48 percent) and added three percentage points (from 45 percent to 48 percent) in Nevada. Obama’s favorability moved up two points in Nevada (from 50 percent to 52 percent), but remained at 51 percent in Colorado.
The polls were conducted October 23 and 24 by telephone. The Nevada sample included 1,042 likely voters and has a sampling error of plus or minus three points. In Colorado, 1,128 likely voters were contacted, and the poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
The latest CBS News poll taken in Ohio has Obama ahead by five points – 50 percent to 45 – in Ohio.
A worn down President Obama was in the 35th hour of a marathon campaign swung through eight states that culminated here in Cleveland on Thursday night. His voice was almost gone, but he wanted to show voters how much another term would mean to him.