Obama edges Romney in Ohio, Florida, Fox News poll says

The scene last time: A US official colors the states won by US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain on a US map at the Serena Hotel in Kabul on November 5, 2008.</p>

The scene last time: A US official colors the states won by US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain on a US map at the Serena Hotel in Kabul on November 5, 2008.

It’s 201 days until election day which is an eternity in political terms. But it’s time for Mitt Romney to start eating into Barack Obama’s standing in opinion polls if he wants to win the presidency.

According to new polls released today, the Republican has yet to do so convincingly. New polls released today by Fox News show that the president maintains a fragile lead over Romney in the battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

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If the election were held today, 45 percent of Floridians say they would vote for the president while a marginally smaller share, 43 percent, say they would choose Romney. In the state that has entered the American psyche as a place uncomfortably split right down the middle, this puts Obama's lead within the margin of error, according to the poll. It was conducted among 757 Florida voters in live telephone interviews.

In Ohio, things are looking a little better for Obama, with 45 percent preferring him to Romney, who scored 39 percent. The poll was conducted among 606 Ohio voters in live telephone interviews.

Both surveys were conducted between April 15 and April 17 and have a margin of error of 4 percent.

The results of both polls show that support for Romney is in fact largely based on opposition to Obama, while support for Obama is less generated by antipathy to Romney.

The results appear to jive somewhat with a national poll released yesterday by NBC and The Wall Street Journal, which showed a narrow advantage for Obama but suggested a very close race would unfold nationally.

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The results nevertheless place Obama in a situation similar to that of other incumbents who have been reelected, according to Politco.