National and battleground state polls remain remarkably close as the presidential election careens to the final week of campaigning. But President Barack Obama appears to maintain the edge when it comes to winning more electoral votes than Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with a 5-point lead in Ohio, the most sought-after prize.
Obama leads Romney nationally 48 percent to 47 percent, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac survey. A National Public Radio poll has Romney with 48 percent and Obama at 47 percent. Both are within each poll's margin of error.
Obama maintains a narrow edge in Virginia, leading Romney 49 percent to 47 percent and in Florida, where he leads 48 percent to Romney's 47 percent, according to the CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll.
The president's lead is slightly larger in Ohio, where he leads by 5 points, 50 percent to 45 percent, according to the poll. There, 52 percent of residents think the economy is getting better, while 47 percent think it's the same or getting worse.
The president is clearly benefitting from the recovering Ohio economy as a result of the successful government bailout of the auto industry. Romney is having trouble building a lead over Obama with a key group that is supporting him by wide margins in other states: non-college-educated white voters. The Romney campaign has launched television and radio ads in recent days trying to undercut Obama's standing among working class voters in Ohio by claiming the federal bailout is actually leading to more jobs in overseas and not Ohio, but top executives of both GM and Chrysler have said the assertion is inaccurate.
Perhaps a result of struggling in Ohio, the Romney campaign is seeking to make in-roads in states its ignored up to this point because they were thought to be in the Democrat's column, such as Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
A Detroit News poll shows Romney down just 3 points in Michigan, trailing Obama 48 percent to 45 percent. In Minnesota, Obama leads Romney by 5.3, according to state polling averages at RealClearPolitics.org. Obama's lead in an average of polls in Pennsylvania is 4.6 percent over Romney.
Obama is declining to officially campaign for a third straight day following Hurricane Sandy, but will survey the damage in Atlantic City, N.J., with Gov. Chris Christie. Romney has a series of campaign events scheduled in Florida.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.