Polls: President Obama Has Narrow Lead Over Mitt Romney In Ohio

The latest polls from arguably the three most important battleground states indicate President Barack Obama has a small advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Ohio, and that the presidential race is basically deadlocked in Florida and Virginia.

According to a CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday, the president holds a 50 percent to 45 percent edge among likely voters in Ohio. Obama’s five-point advantage is within the poll’s sampling error.

The poll is the fourth non-partisan, live operator, survey of likely voters in Ohio – where 18 electoral votes are up for grabs – that’s been conducted over the past nine days. A CNN Poll of Polls that averages all four Ohio surveys indicates Obama at 49 percent among likely voters and Romney at 46 percent. In modern times, no Republican has won the White House without capturing the Buckeye State.

The Obama campaign has portrayed Romney as a job killer who opposed the president’s decision to bail out the auto industry. As a result, the president is running nearly even with Romney among white voters who do not have college degrees according to the poll, explaining why he appears slightly better positioned in Ohio in the closing week of the campaign than in Florida and Virginia, where the polls found that Romney holds an advantage of about 30 percentage points among those voters.

The poll found that nearly half of all white voters without college degrees in Ohio say the economy is improving, and most give Obama some credit. Only about a quarter of those voters in Virginia and Florida say their economy is getting better.

In Florida, the CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac poll indicates the president at 48 percent and Romney at 47 percent, which is well within the survey’s sampling error. A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday in the Sunshine State also suggested a very close race, with Romney at 50 percent and Obama at 49 percent among likely voters. Twenty-nine electoral votes are at stake in Florida.

The CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac poll indicates the president with a slight 49 percent to 47 percent edge in Virginia, where 13 electoral votes hang in the balance. The margin is also within the survey’s sampling error.

According to the poll, Romney is now ahead among seniors in Florida, and has increased his lead with white voters. He also has a large lead in Virginia among independent voters. Both candidates are pretty much even in Florida and Ohio on the question of who would do a better job running the economy, while Romney has the edge on the economy in Virginia.

The survey indicates that the president enjoys leads 60 percent to 34 percent in Ohio and 50 percent to 44 percent in Florida among those who say they’ve already voted. Only a very small percentage of people in Virginia say they’ve already cast a ballot.

The three CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University polls were conducted Oct. 23-28, entirely after the final presidential debate, with 1,073 likely voters in Florida, 1,110 likely voters in Ohio, and 1,074 likely voters in Virginia questioned by telephone. The surveys’ sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points

A nationwide poll of likely voters from The New York Times and CBS News, which was released Tuesday evening, found that more voters now view Romney as a stronger leader on the economy and Obama as a better guardian of the middle class. The president was the choice of 48 percent, with 47 percent for Romney. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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