New polls of likely voters in three battleground states show President Barack Obama with a lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, and with a slight advantage in Nevada and North Carolina.
The NBC News/Marist/Wall Street Journal polls show Obama 7 points ahead of Romney in New Hampshire, 51 percent to 44 percent, a difference outside of the poll's sampling error of 3.1 percentage points.
In Nevada and North Carolina, Obama's advantage was two points and within the sampling error. Obama had 49 percent to Romney's 48 percent in Nevada, and 48 percent to Romney's 46 percent in North Carolina.
Obama won all three states in 2008.
Two other recent surveys of New Hampshire voters have found a close race. A WMUR Granite State Poll which contacted likely voters during and after the Democratic National Convention earlier this month found Obama at 45 percent and Romney at 40 percent with a sampling error of plus or minus four points. An American Research Group sampling of registered voters found the candidates locked up, separated by only two points.
The NBC poll released Thursday found 4 percent were undecided in their vote and 86 percent strongly supported the candidate they had identified. The earlier WMUR survey showed 15 percent were undecided or favoring a non-major candidate.
Both tickets have dispatched their vice presidential candidates and surrogates to the Granite State recently. Vice President Joe Biden campaigned there Friday and Saturday, and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans to visit the state this Saturday. The Romney campaign has also sent surrogates in Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
The NBC poll of Nevada likely voters is in keeping with other polls there showing a close race. The CNN/ORC International poll conducted from Sept. 14-18 showed Obama with a three point advantage over Romney, 49 percent to 46 percent, and the ARG poll conducted Sept. 20-23 showed Obama at 51 percent and Romney at 44 percent. Both polls are within their respective sampling errors.
Nevada voters, like those in New Hampshire and North Carolina, are split on who would best handle the economy, and were also split on who best would handle foreign policy. Likely voters in New Hampshire and North Carolina gave an edge on foreign policy to Obama.
The poll also found a tight race between the states two candidates for a U.S. Senate seat out of the state, although the incumbent had the advantage. Sen. Dean Heller, at 49 percent and a Republican, will face Rep. Shelley Berkley, at 43 percent and a Democrat, in a debate Thursday night.
Likely voters in Nevada were the only amongst the three where more planned to or already had voted ahead of Election Day. Nevada and North Carolina both allow early in-person voting, while New Hampshire allows voters to cast absentee ballots early by mail.
Romney was the most recent candidate to campaign in the Silver State when he attended a rally in Las Vegas on Friday.
The North Carolina survey was in keeping with other polls there showing a tight race. The state, like New Hampshire and Nevada, is rated a toss-up on the CNN Electoral Map.
The Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September and of the three included in Thursday's poll, North Carolina was the closest in the 2008 election. Obama won the state by only 14,000 votes of the over 4.2 million ballots cast.
Obama's job-approval rating approached the halfway mark in the three states, and touched 50 percent in New Hampshire. In North Carolina 48 percent approved of his job as president, and in Nevada, 47 percent approved. Just over half of the likely voters in each of the three states believed the country was heading in the wrong direction.
The three polls each have a sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points among likely voters and were conducted between Sept. 23 and 25.