Of all the unfavorable national polling that has piled up for Barack Obama since his consensus debate loss against Mitt Romney, two new polls from previously safe blue states should cause even more concern for the president.
Polls in both Michigan and Pennsylvania showed Obama’s lead slimming to only 3 points. The Michigan poll was from prominent in-state Democratic pollster Foster McCollum White Baydoun, while the Pennsylvania poll was taken by Siena College.
The Siena poll was the first non-partisan survey of the state since the debate, and it shows Obama’s lead tightening significantly from a CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll three weeks ago that put Obama in a 12-point lead. It also leaves a lot more wiggle room for undecided voters — 12 percent of respondents to Siena’s poll said they were now undecided, compared with only 4 percent in the CBS/NYT poll.
In the Siena poll, Obama’s favorability ranking falls below 50 percent — down from a comfortable 54 percent in the CBS/NYT poll. Unlike other national poll’s findings, Romney’s net favorability did not improve in Pennsylvania.
In Michigan, meanwhile, the president’s lead has dropped from 7.25 points in August to just 3.45 points today. Obama earns about 49.3 percent of the vote, while Romney gets about 45.9 percent.
Though fallout form the debate and his handling of the Libya situation is hurting Obama (58 percent do not approve of his handling), Romney’s “47 percent” comments from a leaked fundraiser are continuing to have a negative effect on his image in the state. About 54 percent of respondents viewed Romney in a more negative light after learning of the comments, compared with just 33 percent who saw him more positively.
After almost giving up on the states by pulling ads from them, will the Romney campaign make a last-minute push to attempt to capture the states? Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan campaigned with musician Kid Rock in Michigan on Monday.
A pickup in either could be crucial to a Romney comeback in the electoral college and would add more plausible roads to victory in what now looks like a wider path.