With fewer than three weeks until Election Day, new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls show President Barack Obama maintaining his lead over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the battleground states of Iowa and Wisconsin.

According to the polls – which were conducted from Monday through Wednesday, encompassing Tuesday’s presidential debate in New York and after – Obama receives the support of 51 percent of likely voters in Iowa to Romney’s 43 percent.

That eight-point margin is unchanged from the NBC/WSJ/Marist poll released last month (before the debate season began), when the president led his Republican opponent 50 percent to 42 percent.

Click here for poll results: Iowa | Wisconsin (.pdfs)

And in Wisconsin, Obama is ahead by six points among likely voters, 51 percent to 45 percent, which also is virtually unchanged from last month.

After two presidential debates, Marist pollster Lee Miringoff observes, the races in Iowa and Wisconsin are back to where they were in September. “There were two debates, but you can’t tell it from the numbers.”

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