9:20 am Oct. 11, 2012
Mitt Romney made some gains in two new battleground polls out this morning, particularly on questions about his leadership.
But President Obama also got some good news, as voters took a more optimistic view of the economy.
In a New York Times poll of three battleground states—Virginia, Colorado and Wisconsin—positive perceptions of the economy were up more than 10 points in each state.
In Colorado, 37 percent said the economy was improving, up from 26 percent in early August.
In Wisconsin, 38 percent said it was improving, up from 25 percent.
In Virginia, the number was 42 percent, up from just 24 percent who said it was improving in early August, a jump of 18 points.
Voters offered an increasingly optimistic view of their own state economies too, but by a single-digit margin in each case.
The survey began on Thursday of last week, one day after Romney dominated Obama in the first debate, and one day before the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate had fallen below 8 percent for the first time in years. The poll was conducted through Tuesday of this week.
Even with the improvement, it's not clear voters are giving Obama credit for the improved outlook.
Asked who would do a better job on the economy, Obama's numbers were down slightly from a mid-September poll. Voters were almost evenly split in Virginia and Wisconsin on that question, while Colorado voters favored Romney by 8 points.
In all three states, voters overwhelmingly said the economy was the issue they were most likely to vote on.
Separately, an NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll show Obama still up by 6 points among likely voters in the crucial state of Ohio.