Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney greets Vice President nominee Paul Ryan after arriving in Columbus, Ohio October 12, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
New polls in crucial swing states released on Friday show Romney continuing to gain ground. In many states this week, Romney passed President Obama, taking the lead in places that had once been firmly in Obama's corner.
While the numbers from different polls, different states, and different polling firms vary greatly, Romney's "bounce" looks to be around a net gain of 4.6 percentage points nationwide, enough to put him in the lead.
Earlier in the week, it had looked like Romney would gain 3.6 points and level off, but that hasn't been the case.
Two polls in Florida, one by ARG and one by Rasmussen, show Romney with 3 and 4 point leads, respectively. Prior to the first debate, Obama had a comfortable 5-point margin in the state. He'd hoped that strong Latino support would bolster his chances, but it hasn't been enough.
A Colorado poll shows Romney edging out Obama by 1 point, and another Rasmussen poll has him up by 2 points in Virginia.
A High Point University poll in North Carolina puts Romney 6 points ahead of Obama, and an ARG poll in New Hampshire has him 4 points up, though that poll may be an outlier, as other recent polls show New Hampshire as a much tighter race.
Even in "safe" states like California and Michigan, where an Obama win is all but assured, Romney is making gains. Romney has gained almost a point in the West Coast Democratic stronghold, though he still trails by a considerable margin. Romney has picked up a whopping 5 points in Michigan, where Obama is popular due to his support of the auto bailouts and still leads by 7 points.
While at this point Obama is still favored to take the Electoral College, more options are opening for Romney. Some polls suggest Romney may win in Ohio, a state without which no Republican has ever won the White House.
But if Romney doesn't succeed in Ohio, he can still win if he takes Florida and North Carolina, both of which seem increasing likely. Indeed, in just the past week, Romney's chances of winning Florida have risen from an even 50-50 to just about two-thirds.
Whether the relative success of Joe Biden at the vice-presidential debate earlier this week will affect the polls will become apparent in the next few days.
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