President Obama leads in newly released polls in Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Here’s a closer look, from NBC’s First Read:
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By NBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Brooke Brower
*** Mr. 48 percent: What’s striking about our new NBC/WSJ poll — as well as our new round of NBC-Marist polls — is the consistency of the numbers for President Obama: He’s at or near 48 percent every way you slice it. In our new national NBC/WSJ poll, the president’s approval rating is at 48 percent, and his percentage against Mitt Romney in the ballot test is 47 percent (vs. Romney’s 43 percent). Then look at these numbers from our brand-new NBC-Marist state polls: In Florida, Obama leads Romney, 48 percent-44 percent; in Ohio, he’s up 48 percent-42 percent; and in Virginia, he’s ahead, 48 percent-44 percent. What does this mean? Is 48 percent a good thing or bad thing? On the one hand, he’s leading and in the high 40s, despite what’s been a rocky and volatile last few weeks (the April jobs numbers, the worries out of Europe, the rushed gay-marriage announcement, etc.).
On the other hand, he remains below that important 50 percent threshold that’s usually considered safe haven for an incumbent president, and Romney is well within striking distance, especially given all of Europe’s economic uncertainty. Bottom line: 48 percent is really the knife’s edge; not quite close enough where you can just fall over the 50 percent finish line, but close enough that it doesn’t take much. It’s a number to follow in the months ahead.