Polls show Obama holding slim lead over GOP presidential field

President Obama holds a slim lead over the GOP field nationally and is in strong shape in the key swing state of Michigan, while gaining ground in Arizona, according to two polls released on Wednesday.

A Quinnipiac University poll of voters nationally shows Obama edging past the two current GOP front-runners, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

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Obama leads Romney 46 percent to 44, and leads Santorum 47 percent to 44.

Independent voters were the deciding margin in this poll, as Obama holds a five-point lead over Romney with this group, and a 10-point lead over Santorum.

Voters disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, which is presently the most important issue to voters nationally, by a margin of 55 percent to 41, but remain unconvinced that Romney or Santorum would handle it any better.

Romney leads the president on the economy 45 percent to 44, but Santorum trails, 46 percent to 42.

The president trounces the GOP field in the key swing state of Michigan, according to an NBC News-Marist poll, leading Romney, whose father was once governor of the state, 51 percent to 33. None of the other candidates are within 20 points of the president there.

Michigan is one of 12 swing states the president won in 2008 and will be critical in determining the outcome of the 2012 election.

In Arizona, the president trails all of the GOP candidates except Newt Gingrich, trailing Romney 40 percent to 45, Santorum 42 percent to 45 and Rep. Ron Paul 41 percent to 43.

Still, the president lost Arizona by nearly 9 percent to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008, so Obama is at least in contention with Republicans, who don’t hold a home-state advantage, as McCain did.