President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are running neck-and-neck in three key battleground states, according to a trio of new NBC/Marist polls released Thursday.
The polls examine the state of the 2012 campaign in Iowa, Nevada and Colorado. In Iowa, Obama and Romney each poll at 44 percent among registered voters including those who are undecided but leaning toward one of the two candidates. The president holds a slim lead in both Colorado and Nevada, edging Romney by one and two percentage points respectively. Obama carried all three states over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the 2008 presidential contest.
The polls make it difficult to determine which candidate has the upper-hand politically on the crucial issue of the national economy. There are signs of economic optimism, with majorities in each state saying the worst of the recession is behind us. Moreover, majorities in all three states say Obama inherited current economic conditions.
But over 50 percent of voters in each of the three states believe the country is on the wrong track. When respondents were asked which candidate would do a better job on the economy, Romney enjoys a slight advantage over Obama in Colorado and Iowa, while voters were split between the two candidates in Nevada.
The three polls not only reflect recent national head-to-head polls — nearly all of which have shown an extremely tight race between Obama and Romney — but also a round of NBC/Marist polls released last week. Those surveys likewise showed tight races between Obama and Romney in Florida, Virginia and Ohio.
The TPM Poll Average currently shows the president with marginal leads over Romney in Iowa, Colorado and Nevada (shown below).