If new polls are any guide, President Obama has big leads in two states that could nail down his re-election: Ohio and Florida.
Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney by 10 points -- 53%-43% -- in Ohio, according to the Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News survey.
Obama's lead is 9 points in Florida, 53%-44%.
The president leads Romney by 12 points in Pennsylvania, a state the Democrats have carried in five straight presidential elections.
"Voters in each state see President Obama as better than Gov. Romney to handle the economy, health care, Medicare, national security, an international crisis and immigration," Quinnipiac reports. "Romney ties or inches ahead of the president on handling the budget deficit."
Both Obama and Romney campaign today in Ohio.
The first presidential debate is a week from today.
New polls from The Washington Post also give Obama leads in Ohio and Florida -- 52%-44% in Ohio and 51%-47% in Florida.
The new swing state polls come a week after disclosure of a videotape in which Romney says Obama starts out with 47% of the vote because of people who rely on government benefits and don't pay taxes.
"Gov. Mitt Romney had a bad week in the media, and it shows in these key swing states," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The furor over his 47% remark almost certainly is a major factor in the roughly double-digit leads President Barack Obama has in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The debates may be Romney's best chance to reverse the trend in his favor."
"The wide difference between the two candidates is not just a result of Romney's bad week. In Ohio and Florida, votes are basically split down the middle on whether the county and they and their families are worse or better off than they were four years ago. If voters don't think they are worse off, it is difficult to see them throwing out an incumbent whose personal ratings with voters remains quite high.
"The president's strength results from the fact that for the first time in the entire campaign, he is seen as better able to fix the economy than is Romney, the issue that has been the Republican's calling card since the general election campaign began. And the economy remains the overwhelming choice as the most important issue to voters' presidential choice."
According to The New York Times:
"The polls were conducted as the Romney campaign grappled with fallout last week from the release of his tax returns and remarks he made at a fund-raiser in which he bluntly suggested that 47 percent of Americans saw themselves as victims who are dependent on the government. That was the latest in a string of setbacks for the campaign that appears to be sapping the optimism of some of his supporters. ...
"With 41 days remaining until the election, aides to Mr. Romney acknowledge that they are not leading in either state, but dispute the characterization that the race has shifted toward Mr. Obama. The political director, Rich Beeson, told reporters aboard Mr. Romney's plane that the campaign's internal data showed a closer race, saying, 'the public polls are what they are.'"