New poll shows Obama leads Romney in swing states

Fox News released a new poll Thursday showing that President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney in three battleground states, topping off a week of bad-news polling for the Republican presidential nominee in toss-up states.

The poll, which covered Ohio, Virginia and Florida, shows Obama leading the former governor by seven points in both Ohio (49 to 42 percent) and Virginia (50 to 43 percent). In Florida, Obama leads by five points (49 to 44 percent), which is within the poll's margin of error. Obama won all three states in 2008, marking the first time Virginia voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

In Michigan and Wisconsin, Obama has also opened up a lead against his rival: A CNN poll puts him up eight points in Michigan (52 to 44 percent), and one from Marquette Law School has Obama leading Romney by 14 points in Wisconsin (54 to 40 percent). In August, Obama led Romney in Wisconsin by only three points.

New York Times pollster Nate Silver notes that Obama tends to do better against Romney in polls that include cell phones and use live interviewers instead of automated questions. (About a third of U.S. households are cell phone-only.) Silver writes that Obama has shown a clear lead in the 16 cell phone-inclusive polls of seven top battleground states taken since the convention. (The Fox, CNN and Marquette Law School polls all included cell phones.) On average, he's shown a 5.8 percentage point lead in these surveys. The exception is Colorado, where Obama and Romney are neck and neck.

But there's some evidence that the "bounce" Obama has enjoyed since the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., may be dissipating. The Romney campaign has pointed to the Gallup national tracking poll, which found Romney and Obama in a dead tie this week, and a recent Rasmussen poll showed Romney leading Obama by three points in New Hampshire.

Our poll tracker, which averages all national polls, has Obama leading by a little under four points.