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Quinnipiac/NYT/CBS poll: Obama leads by 5 in Va., 3 in Wis.; virtual tie in Colo.

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A new Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS poll shows little change in the presidential race from before and after the first presidential debate, with President Obama holding a 5-point lead in Virginia and a 3-point lead in Wisconsin, while Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney holds a 1-point lead in Colorado.

Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney by 51 percent to 46 percent in Virginia — a slight uptick from his 50 percent to 46 percent lead in a poll from last month. Meanwhile, Mr. Romney flipped Mr. Obama’s 1-point lead in Colorado and now leads by 1 point, 48 percent to 47 percent, and has narrowed Mr. Obama’s advantage in Wisconsin from 5 points in September to 3 points in the Oct. 11 poll. Mr. Obama leads in the Badger State, 50 percent to 47 percent.

Perhaps more significantly, likely voters thought Mr. Obama lost the first debate by a 4-to-1 margin, but the shifts in the polls are too small to measure, according to Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“When likely voters are asked which candidate has strong leadership qualities, more cite Romney than the president in all three states,” Mr. Brown said. “During the spring and early summer Romney held a small lead on who can best handle the economy, an edge he lost to Obama in Quinnipiac University’s September survey. Now, Romney leads on the economy in Colorado and the two men are tied in Virginia and Wisconsin.”

“Perhaps the best news for Obama in this poll is that voters expect U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, to win the running-mate debate over Vice President Joe Biden tonight,” Mr. Brown continued. “Before the first presidential debate, Romney was the expected loser and overcame those low expectations to impress the voting public.”

In the all-important U.S. Senate race in Virginia, meanwhile, Democrat Tim Kaine leads Republican George Allen 51 percent to 44 percent, with independents backing the Democrat 51 percent to 42 percent. The numbers come as an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing Mr. Kaine with a 1-point lead and an internal poll from GOP pollster John McLaughlin’s firm showing Mr. Allen with a 3-point lead — both within those polls’ respective margins of error.

In Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race, Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin holds a 2-point lead over former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, at 48 percent to 46 percent.

The surveys in the three states were conducted from Oct. 4 to 9. In Colorado, the poll of 1,254 likely voters has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points; in Virginia, the survey of 1,288 likely voters has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points; and in Wisconsin, the poll of 1,327 likely voters has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

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