Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Electoral College map for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is narrowing heading into the first presidential debate next week.
According to the latest Public Policy Polling poll, President Barack Obama is leading Romney by a 50-46 percent margin, which is outside of the poll’s margin of error. The PPP poll results were a three-point improvement for Obama, which is in line with his overall polling bump from the Democratic National Convention.
The PPP poll’s findings line up with the current Real Clear Politics advantage for Obama of 3.8 points overall. The RCP numbers includes multiple national polls including outliers like a National Journal poll finding a 7 point lead and an Associated Press poll showing a 1 point lead.
According to the New York Times’ Nate Silver, the current forecast of the presidential election gives Obama 309.3 electoral votes to 228.7 for Romney. Silver’s forecast model currently gives Obama a 77.7 percent chance of winning the election to 22.3 percent for Romney.
PPP’s poll was nearly identical to a Washington Post poll released earlier Tuesday that gave Obama a four point lead over Romney, 51-47 percent. Additionally, an ARG poll released Monday gave Obama a five point lead over Romney 50-45 percent.
The last Florida poll to show Romney leading Obama was a purple strategies poll released last week that gave the Republican nominee a one-point lead over the president.
With polling starting to give the president increasing leads in many of the swing states, it puts extra pressure on Romney to perform extraordinarily well in the upcoming presidential debates.
Romney can’t lose Florida and have any semblance of a chance to win the presidency. Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin are all crucial swing states and the GOP nominee has to carry Florida and likely Virginia and Wisconsin as well to have a shot at winning the Electoral College.
The race is far from over and any major economic shock, or foreign policy dilemma, could completely reverse the numbers in favor of Romney. But, with just six weeks to go before the November 6 general election, time is rapidly running out for Romney to have a game-changing moment.
The cracks in the foundation have already begun to show in the Romney campaign after two weeks of self-inflicted damage. The GOP may also be starting to look at cutting its losses if it senses Romney can’t win the presidency, and concentrate on keeping the House and possibly taking over the Senate.
But in Florida, Senator Bill Nelson, who was once viewed as vulnerable has built a substantial lead over Representative Connie Mack IV and the Senate race has been leaning Democrat for the past few weeks.