The latest polls suggest that Mitt Romney's post-debate surge is spreading to some of the big swing states expected to decide the November election. NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist surveys released Thursday show Romney pulling narrowly ahead of President Obama in Virginia, catching up to him in Florida, and closing Obama's lead to six percentage points in Ohio, which some consider a make-or-break contest for Romney. Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times polls show Romney edging ahead in Colorado, and gaining in Wisconsin. Bottom line: "Obama has lost his advantage across the electoral map," says Grace Wyler at Business Insider. Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos is now so certain Romney will sweep Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina that he has stopped polling in those states. Is Romney now the frontrunner in these key battlegrounds, or are pundits prematurely writing off Obama?
Romney looks awfully strong: Almost all the new battleground polling "looks bad for Barack Obama," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. In fact, his prospects might be even be worse than they look. NBC's survey was "ridiculously tilted toward Democrats," giving them an 11-percentage point turnout advantage in Ohio when in reality Republicans outnumbered them at the polls in 2010. Regardless, the trend is clear: In swing states, undecided voters are finally making up their minds, and they're going for Romney.
"Bounce continues in new swing-state polling"
But he still has an uphill climb in Ohio: Obama "might have lost some ground," says Aaron Blake at The Washington Post, but Romney's new momentum hasn't really given him an easier Electoral College path to the presidency. Obama is still "holding relatively firm in Ohio, which is a huge state in the presidential race. No Republican has won the presidency without" it. Eighteen percent of Ohio respondents have voted already, and 63 percent of those picked Obama. "If that number is close to accurate," Romney's election day challenge is as daunting as ever.
"Polls show little change in swing states, despite Romney's momentum"
Take a deep breath. Predictions this far out are worthless: It's one thing to stop polling in places like California and Texas, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway, "which are obviously going to go for Obama and Romney respectively." But in many battleground states, anything can still happen between now and Election Day, "as we learned from last week's debate." Even after Romney's surge, the candidates are essentially tied in Florida and Virginia, and there's hardly any data on North Carolina. "It seems absurd to call the race at this point" — in any battleground state.
"Pollster prematurely calls Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina for Romney"