With six days to go until the presidential election, new polls in arguably the three most important battleground states indicate President Barack Obama with a small advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Ohio, and the race 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-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.
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-47 percent edge in Virginia, where 13 electoral votes are up for grabs. 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 leads 60 percent-34 percent in Ohio and 50 percent-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.