McLean, VA (written by Catalina Camia/USA Today) -- President Obama has a seven-point lead over Mitt Romney in New Hampshire but they're neck-and-neck in North Carolina and Nevada, according to new swing state polling.
Likely voters in the NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist Institute polls released last night prefer Obama 51%-44% in New Hampshire, where Romney has a vacation home. Obama leads Romney by 2 percentage points each in North Carolina and Nevada, but the numbers are within the margin of error.
The findings track other recent polling in these battlegrounds -- among about a dozen states where the presidential contest will likely be decided.
Obama's standing in these polls has been aided by improved perceptions about the direction of the country, especially in New Hampshire.
Just three months ago, 57% of New Hampshire voters believed the country was on the wrong track vs. 37% who said it was going in the right direction. While a slight majority of Granite State voters still believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the gap between the two views is down to 7 points.
"There's been a reversal on the economy," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "In June, more voters saw Romney as better for the economy, but no longer."