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 43-40 percent 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 two 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 three 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 three-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 their poll from a month ago had Romney within two 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 intermittently on the airwaves 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 may 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.