Poll: Obama Leading in Key Swing States
Romney trailing in Florida, Ohio, Virginia
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2012 4:31 AM CDT
Updated Sep 14, 2012 7:00 AM CDT
President Obama takes the stage to speak at a campaign event in Toledo earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – President Obama has a healthy lead in the three swing states most vital to victory, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist poll. Mitt Romney is trailing by five points in Florida and Virginia and by seven points in Ohio, the poll found. Victory for Mitt Romney will be near-impossible if he doesn't win at least two of those states, and the pool of undecided voters is now so small that to win, he is going to have to find a way to flip voters who now support Obama. "These numbers don't look like the numbers you would see in the middle of September," a pollster says. "These are the sort of numbers you see after the debates and just as you go into an election."

But the numbers weren't all negative for the Republican. He has a small lead among independent voters in Ohio and Virginia, and he is doing better with white voters than John McCain did in 2008. Nationwide, Obama is now leading Romney by seven points, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. The poll—taken after this week's attacks on US embassies—found that voters thought Obama had a better approach to the war on terrorism than Romney by a margin of 39% to 25%. Yet another poll, from Esquire and Yahoo News, found that 58% thought Obama would beat Romney in a fistfight, while 22% thought Mitt would prevail and 20% had no opinion.