Three More Battleground Polls Give Obama the Edge

BY Christina Bellantoni and Terence Burlij  September 28, 2012 at 9:04 AM EST

President Obama; photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Obama campaigns Thursday in Virginia Beach. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The Morning Line

Friday may be a new day, but for the most part it’s the same old story when it comes to the latest batch of battleground state polls.

President Obama leads Mitt Romney by seven points, 51 percent to 44 percent, in New Hampshire, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey. The president also edges his GOP rival in Nevada (49 percent to 47 percent) and North Carolina (48 percent to 46 percent). Those contests are within the survey’s margin of error.

Still, that the president is running ahead of Romney in all three states means he has a clean sweep of the nine battleground contests surveyed by NBC/WSJ/Marist over the course of the past three weeks, with leads ranging from two to eight percentage points. The previous six states polled were Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The president is viewed more favorably than Romney in New Hampshire, Nevada and North Carolina, and the percentage of voters who think the direction of the country has improved also moved upward in all three states.

In the New Hampshire, 44 percent of respondents said the country was heading in the right direction, while 51 percent said things were on the wrong track. That was a change from 37 percent to 57 percent in June.

The gains in North Carolina and Nevada, two battlegrounds with unemployment rates higher than the national average, were more modest. In the Tarheel State, 40 percent chose “right direction” compared to 55 percent for “wrong track,” up from 36 percent to 56 percent in June. The right track number in Nevada was up to 41 percent from 39 percent in May.

That the president is running ahead of Romney in states with much improved economic conditions such as Ohio and Virginia is not a huge surprise, but his lead in other battlegrounds where the recovery has not been as strong should be a concern to the Republican nominee, who has pitched himself to voters as someone best equipped to stage a turnaround. If Romney is unable to convince voters in those states that it’s in their best economic interest to cast their ballots for him, then his campaign’s prospects for a turnaround by Nov. 6 are in trouble.

See the paths for each White House hopeful yourself in our Vote 2012 Map Center.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN …

NewsHour teams are in the battleground states this weekend working on pieces for next week.

So here’s a hearty #FollowFriday for @hari, @kpolantz and @abbruns in Iowa, and for @jeffreybrown, @elizsummers and @meenaganesan, who will be in North Carolina.

2012 LINE ITEMS

  • In Florida on Friday, Vice President Biden will go after the Republican ticket on Social Security and tax cuts for the wealthy. At the same time, Team Obama will launch an e-cards campaign asking young supporters “to send eCards to their parents and grandparents telling them exactly what seniors could lose as a result of Mitt Romney’s disastrous plan to raise taxes on Social Security benefits.”

  • Talking Points Memo posts a timeline detailing Romney’s changing tune on his Massachusetts health care plan.

  • GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal is one reason for the shift in polls, the Washington Post finds.

  • Billionaire George Soros is giving $1 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action.

TOP TWEETS

OUTSIDE THE LINES

  • Even beer is getting political. National Journal looks at the breakdown of beer choice, political leanings and voter turnout. Check out this summary of the findings in a handy bubble chart.

  • The Kansas City Star’s Jason Hancock reports Missouri GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin is under fire again for saying Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill did not act “ladylike” during their recent debate.

  • Both the Washington Post and Roll Call move the Indiana Senate contest between Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly and Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock to tossup status. Mourdock defeated Sen. Richard Lugar in a spring primary.

  • Roll Call’s Daniel Newhauser tees up how women and freshmen are getting involved in the House GOP leadership races for next year.

  • Republicans will showcase for the first time a House candidate to give the weekly party address. That’s Vernon Parker, who is running in Arizona’s 9th district.

  • Politico’s Dave Levinthal writes that the NFL’s top labor union negotiator said political pressure helped end the lockout. Here is the NewsHour’s report.

  • The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters reports that an independent House candidate in Kentucky has unveiled a graphic new campaign ad likening the president to Hitler and Ted Bundy.

  • The online campaign fundraising site ActBlue on Thursday passed the $300 million donation mark, raising that much for Democratic candidates since 2004. It was Sept. 18, 2011, when the group hit $200 million. The average donation size is less than $50.

  • James Dao writes in the New York Times about the backlog of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Christina and several female political journalists were featured in a More Magazine fashion spread.

Tiffany Mullon contributed to this report.

ON THE TRAIL

All events are listed in Eastern Time.

  • Vice President Biden campaigns in Florida with events in Boca Raton at 12 p.m. and in Tamarac at 3:20 p.m.

  • Mitt Romney campaigns in Wayne, Pa., at 12:05 p.m.

  • Michelle Obama attends an event in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at 2:10 p.m. and another in Appleton, Wis., at 4:45 p.m.

  • President Obama attends a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., at 4:20 p.m.

All future events can be found on our Political Calendar:


For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.

Follow the politics team on Twitter: @cbellantoni, @burlij, @elizsummers, @kpolantz, @indiefilmfan, @tiffanymullon, @dePeystah, @meenaganesan and @abbruns.