The latest set of NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls show the race moving marginally in Mitt Romney’s direction. After multiple bad weeks, it appears Romney’s nose-dive has finally stopped. In Florida and Virginia Romney is almost tied with Obama, but Obama still holds a solid advantage in Ohio.

Swing state

Swing states

Florida
Marist (9/30-10/1)
Barack Obama 47%
Mitt Romney 46%
Other 1%
Undecided 6%

Virginia
Marist (9/30-10/1)
Barack Obama 48%
Mitt Romney 46%
Other 1%
Undecided 5%

Ohio
Marist (9/30-10/1)
Barack Obama 51%
Mitt Romney 43%
Other 1%
Undecided 4%

This is a real improvement for Romney in Virginia and Florida compared to last month when Marist previously polled the states. In mid-September, Obama led by four points in Florida and by five points in Virginia. In Ohio, however, Obama’s lead has remained basically unchanged.

The problem for Romney is that even if he were to win Virginia and Florida, where he is still technically trailing, without Ohio he practically doesn’t have a path to 270. If Obama carries Ohio and New Hampshire that puts him at 269 electoral votes. Obama would need to carry only a single other swing state to to get over 270.

The polls also contained some good news for Senate Democrats. In all three states the Democratic candidates have leads larger than the polls’ margin of error. The closest is Virginia, where Democrat Tim Kaine has a five point lead over George Allen. In Ohio Sherrod Brown (D) has a nine point lead over Republican Josh Mandel, while in Florida Bill Nelson (D) has an impressive 11 point lead over Connie Mack.

Photo by Naturalturn under Creative Commons license