Need more proof that the race for the White House remains tight?
Then check out a new survey in three crucial swing states.
According to new numbers released Wednesday morning by Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times, President Barack Obama has a single digit lead in Wisconsin (a state he won by double digits four years ago) and a narrow advantage in Virginia, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney has a slight edge in Colorado.
The poll indicates that in Virginia, 49 percent of likely voters say they support the president, with 45 percent saying they back Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. The president's four point advantage is within the survey's sampling error. Four years ago, Obama became the first Democrat to carry Virginia in a presidential election since 1964.
According to the poll, Obama has a 51 percent-45 percent lead in Wisconsin, while Romney holds a 50 percent-45 percent advantage in Colorado, a state that Obama won by nine points in 2008. Romney's five point edge is just within the survey's sampling error.
"There is good reason why Virginia, Colorado and Wisconsin are considered swing states - and this data shows how close they are," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Most voters say they have made up their minds. Nine out of 10 in each state say they are sure they will vote for the candidate they favor, which means that the pool of those who say they can be persuaded is pretty small."
Both campaigns have stepped up their pitches to middle class voters over the past month, but the survey indicates that the president has the upper hand.
"President Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney as the candidate who cares: majorities of voters in each of these three states say President Obama cares about their needs and problems," according to the poll's release. "Opinions of Mitt Romney on this are more mixed: in Colorado voters are divided, while more voters in Virginia and Wisconsin think Mitt Romney does not care about their needs and problems."
Overall, likely voters in Virginia and Wisconsin hold more favorable views of Obama rather than Romney, while likely voters in Colorado are divided.
According to the poll Romney has a ten point advantage over Obama in Colorado when asked which candidate would do a better job fixing the economy, with voters in Virginia and Wisconsin split.
In all three states, voters are more optimistic about their own state's economy than about the nation's economy. The economy remains the top issue on the minds of Americans.
In Colorado, the poll indicates that Romney is leading among white voters (Obama narrowly won the white vote in Colorado four years ago). Independent voters in the state are divided. Romney leads among men, while the president has strong support from women among Hispanic voters.
The poll's release comes as the president begins two days of campaigning in Colorado. Romney campaigned in the state last week.
In Virginia, Obama holds large leads among women and African American voters, with Romney holding the edge among white voters, independents, and military families.
In Wisconsin, Obama has the strong backing of women and voters in union households (which make up a quarter of Wisconsin voters), with Romney holding a smaller lead among men. Independents and white voters are divided, according to the survey.
The Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll was conducted July 31-Aug. 6, with 1,463 likely voters in Colorado, 1,412 likely voters in Virginia and 1,428 likely voters in Wisconsin questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.