Bloomberg News

Obama Takes Lead Over Romney in Three More Swing-State Polls

September 21, 2012

Barack Obama Florida

President Barack Obama at a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Sept. 9, 2012 in Florida. Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Barack Obama polls 50 percent among likely voters in three swing states, according to the latest survey that shows him pulling ahead of Republican nominee Mitt Romney in many of the election’s battlegrounds.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll gave Obama identical five-percentage point leads, 50 percent to 45 percent, in Colorado and Wisconsin, and an eight-point advantage in Iowa, 50 percent to 42 percent.

An NBC/Journal poll of likely voters released last week put Obama ahead of Romney 49 percent to 44 percent in Florida and Virginia, and leading with 50 percent to 43 percent in Ohio. No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio.

Obama has opened a lead in many national and state polls since the Democratic National Convention earlier this month in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“When you get to 50” percent in polls, “that’s the magic number,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York. “Things are definitely moving his way,” he said of Obama. “He hasn’t closed the sale, but these are a lot of states Romney has to carry and that’s not happening at the moment.”

At the same time, the national daily Gallup tracking poll of registered voters for the period Sept. 13-19 has the two candidates tied at 47 percent.

Favorability Ratings

In Colorado, Obama was viewed favorably by 51 percent of likely voters, while Romney was viewed unfavorably by 50 percent. By 48 percent to 46 percent, voters said they thought Obama would do a better job handling the economy than Romney.

In Iowa, 53 percent of likely voters viewed Obama favorably, while 50 percent viewed Romney unfavorably. Respondents said Obama would do a better job than Romney on the economy by 47 percent to 43 percent.

Wisconsin, home of Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, was the only state in the new poll where likely voters said Romney would do a better job on the economy than Obama, 46 percent to 45 percent. Obama was viewed favorably by 51 percent of those voters and unfavorably by 44 percent. Romney got favorable ratings from 43 percent, unfavorable marks from 46 percent.

The surveys were conducted Sept. 16-18 of 971 likely voters in Colorado with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 898 likely voters in Iowa with a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points and 968 likely voters in Wisconsin with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

A CBS News/New York Times/ Quinnipiac University survey released this week gave Obama a 50 percent to 46 percent lead over Romney in Virginia and a 51 percent to 45 percent lead in Wisconsin. The poll showed a virtual tie in Colorado: Obama with 48 percent and Romney with 47 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.


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