Polls show Romney making headway in swing states

A set of new swing-state polls show Mitt Romney making big gains in three critical battleground states just two days after the Republican nominee's widely-heralded debate performance.

The polls — from conservative-leaning Rasmussen and We Ask America — showed Romney closing the gap or leading in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, three states the GOP candidate would likely need to capture to win the White House. And they represent a dramatic reversal from last week, where polls showed President Obama with a commanding lead.

In Ohio, the We Ask America poll gave Romney a 47-46 percent edge over the president, while Rasmussen flipped those results, giving Obama a 50-49 percent lead. Both polling firms completed the sampling for their survey Thursday, in the aftermath of Wednesday's shaky debate for the president.


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A number of polls before the debates showed Obama extending his lead in the Buckeye State to as much as 8, 9 or 10 points. Obama now leads Romney by 3 in Ohio, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.

In Florida, We Ask America found Romney with a 49-46 percent lead, good for a six-point swing in the Republican nominee's favor from the polling firm's survey conducted in late September.

The RCP average now shows Obama and Romney tied in Florida.

Florida and Ohio are two of the biggest swing-state prizes, with 29 and 18 electoral votes at stake, respectively.

And in Virginia, both polling firms found Romney with an advantage. We Ask America gave Romney the greater edge, finding the Republican challenger leading the president 48-45 percent. Rasmussen, meanwhile, gave Romney a 49-48 percent lead.

Those surveys were the first polls since early September to give Romney a lead in that state. Romney and running mate Paul Ryan campaigned in Virginia on Thursday night, and both Obama and Romney were holding rallies in the state on Friday.

The candidates are tied at 47 in Virginia, according to the RCP average of polls.

Ohio, Florida and Virginia are three of the twelve states President Bush won in 2004 that President Obama took in 2008, and they will be critical in determining the outcome of the 2012 election.