Obama Leads Iowa; Romney Close in New Hampshire, Wisconsin

President Barack Obama leads by six percentage points in Iowa among likely voters while Republican challenger Mitt Romney has pulled closer to him in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, according to a poll released today.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College survey put Obama ahead, 50 percent to 44 percent, in Iowa. The president had a 51 percent to 43 percent advantage two weeks earlier.

Romney has decreased Obama’s poll lead in two other states that are among those both campaigns say will decide who wins the White House Nov. 6.

In New Hampshire, the latest survey shows the president leads, 49 percent to 47 percent, after being in front 51 percent to 44 percent last month. In Wisconsin, home of Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, Obama’s lead was down to three points, 49 percent to 46 percent, after the poll showed him ahead 51 percent to 45 percent earlier this month.

A CNN/ORC International poll released today gives Obama an edge among likely voters in Colorado, 50 percent to 48 percent. The survey of 733 likely voters in another of the campaign’s swing states, taken Oct. 26-31, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. An Oct. 23-24 NBC/Journal/Marist poll had Obama and Romney tied at 48 percent in Colorado.

The president has been leading in polls conducted in most of the nine states that have swung between the two major party candidates in recent presidential votes and that have been this year’s main battlegrounds. Several national surveys show a toss-up in the overall popular vote.

A national ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll put Obama ahead by one point, 49 percent to 48 percent, within the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. The poll surveyed 1,293 likely voters from Oct. 28-31.

Women Voters

Obama’s lead in the states surveyed in the CBS News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll is based on his support among likely women voters. He leads 56 percent to 40 percent among them in Iowa and New Hampshire, and 55 percent to 41 percent in Wisconsin. Romney has kept the races close because of his support from likely men voters; he leads among them 48 percent to 44 percent in Iowa, 53 percent to 42 percent in New Hampshire, and 51 percent to 43 percent in Wisconsin.

Romney has been helped by improvements in his favorable/unfavorable ratings. He’s in positive territory in New Hampshire, 49 percent to 46 percent, and tied in Wisconsin at 47 percent. In Iowa, he is viewed unfavorably by 49 percent, favorably by 43 percent.

Obama’s favorable ratings are 52 percent in Iowa, 50 percent in New Hampshire, and 53 percent in Wisconsin.

Handling Economy

The two candidates are tied in Iowa on the question of who would better handle the economy, each with 45 percent, and in Wisconsin, each with 47 percent. Romney holds an edge in New Hampshire, 49 percent to 46 percent.

The polls were taken Oct. 28-29 of 1,142 likely voters in Iowa with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points; of 1,013 likely voters in New Hampshire with an error margin of 3.1 points; and of 1,065 likely voters in Wisconsin with an error margin of 3 points.

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