If the national race stays deadlocked, the race comes down to the electoral math and yesterday’s polls suggested that the president was well-positioned in several states on his path to 270 electoral votes.
NBC/WSJ/Marist showed Obama ahead by 8 points in Iowa and 5 points in Wisconsin with 51 percent of the vote. That’s Obama’s best post-debate result in each state and unchanged from the prior Marist poll conducted before the first presidential debate. The two polls continue NBC/WSJ/Marist’s pattern of providing Obama with some of his best battleground state results, as well as the broader pattern of Romney making fewer gains in the battleground states than he has nationally (with the exception of Florida).
While the averages do not suggest that Obama leads by 5 in Wisconsin or 8 in Iowa, it’s clear that Obama holds a modest edge in both states. Since the first presidential debate, every pollster to weigh-in on Iowa has found Obama performing better than every other state that they surveyed (although it sounds like PPP will break this pattern later today). Obama's edge in Wisconsin may be modest but it is consistent, with Obama exceeding 49 percent of the vote in every survey--as he has in all but two surveys since the end of the Wisconsin recall.
If Obama carried Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio, then Obama would hold 271 electoral votes. And Rasmussen again found Obama leading by 1 in Ohio, as they have in every survey since the DNC--potentially indicating a stable race.
Elsewhere in the Midwest, polls in Minnesota and Michigan showed Obama with a modest lead that Romney probably can’t overcome at this stage. The Susquehanna result in Pennsylvania should probably be dismissed as an outliner--especially since their polls are wildly unrepresentative—but Romney has performed well in most post-debate polls of Pennsylvania, which would make Obama’s resilience in Ohio even more impressive.
Since Galup showed Romney leading by 6 yesterday, it's not exactly news unless it persists for longer. But here's a piece on it anyway.