President Obama is ahead by 6 points in Iowa, 50 percent to 44 percent, while he holds inside-the-margin leads of 2 and 3 points in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, respectively, according to a trio of new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.
Mr. Obama’s 6-point advantage in Iowa is down from 8 earlier this month but is firmly outside the margin of error of 2.9 percentage points. Hawkeye voters are split 45 percent to 45 percent on whether Mr. Obama or Republican rival Mitt Romney would do a better job handling the economy, while they give the nod to Mr. Obama on foreign policy, 51 percent to 39 percent.
Forty-five percent of likely voters say they already have voted or plan to vote before Election Day, and Mr. Obama leads among that bloc, 62 percent to 35 percent. Mr. Romney is winning voters planning to vote on Nov. 6, 55 percent to 35 percent.
In New Hampshire, Mr. Obama’s 49 percent to 47 percent lead is within the poll’s margin of error of 3.1 percentage points and is down from a 51 percent to 44 percent lead he held before the presidential debates. More likely voters — 49 percent — say Mr. Romney will do a better job handling the economy than Mr. Obama — 46 percent. But they, too, prefer him on foreign policy — in this case, by an 8-point margin, 51 percent to 43 percent.
In Wisconsin Mr. Obama’s 49 percent to 46 percent lead — within the state’s 3-point margin of error — is down from a 6-point lead earlier this month in a state that has fast emerged as a somewhat unexpected battleground for the two candidates.
Like Iowa, likely voters in Wisconsin are split on who would do a better job on the economy — 47 percent apiece — while Mr. Obama holds an 11-point edge on the foreign-policy front, at 52 percent to 41 percent.
The polls were conducted from Oct. 28-29 of 1,142 likely voters in Iowa, 1,013 likely voters in New Hampshire and 1,065 likely voters in Wisconsin.
New Hampshire poll: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/A_Politics/NH_poll.pdf