Polls: Romney within striking distance in Michigan, Pennsylvania

Mitt Romney is within striking distance of President Obama in Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to polls conducted soon after last week's debate. 

Obama leads Romney 43 percent to 40 in a new Siena College poll of Pennsylvania, a tighter margin than had been seen in most other recent polls. 

A Susquehanna Poll released on Monday had Romney within 2 points in the state. The margin was unchanged from a late September poll by the group that was taken when other surveys showed Obama with a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania. 

In Michigan, Obama's lead over Romney is down to 3 points in two new polls. An EPIC-MRA poll has Obama leading by 48 to 45 percent, down from a 10-point lead less than a month ago. That 3-point edge mirrors the numbers in a new poll from the Democratic firm Baydoun-Foster, but partisans on both sides of the aisle view have questioned that pollster's reliability, and its poll from a month ago had Romney within 2 points in the state.

Neither candidate has spent anything in either state in the last few months, though the pro-Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future has been on the airwaves intermittently in Michigan and Paul Ryan had a campaign event there on Monday, the first for a major Romney surrogate in recent weeks.

It's too early to tell if these polls are just a blip on the radar or if they represent an actual shift in voters' perceptions of the candidates in those states, and with a month left it might be too late for Romney to make a major push in new territory. But the states likely represent Romney's best hopes of expanding a tight electoral map and giving himself more pathways to victory in November.

This post was updated at 9:40 a.m.