Poll: Obama leads in Virginia, Wisconsin; Tight in Colorado

(CBS News) President Obama holds a narrow lead over Mitt Romney in the key swing states of Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times survey.

Mr. Obama leads his GOP opponent 51 percent to 45 percent in Wisconsin, the home state of GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan. The president held a two-point lead in an August 23 Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times survey and nine points in an August 8 survey. Mr. Obama won the state by 14 points in 2008.

In Virginia, Mr. Obama leads Romney 50 percent to 46 percent, matching his four-point lead from August. Mr. Obama took the state by seven points four years ago, making him the first Democrat to carry it since 1964.

In Colorado, the survey found Mr. Obama holds a one-point lead, 48 percent to 47 percent. That's within the survey's three-point margin of error. In the August survey, Romney led the president by five points in Colorado.

The survey found that Mr. Obama has gained some ground on the issue of the economy - where Romney has until now held an advantage.

The Candidates on the Issues: Domestic and Foreign

The president has gained some ground on handling the economy since last month. In August, Romney had an advantage on this issue (including a 10-point lead on it Colorado), but the candidates are now running much closer. In Colorado, 48 percent of voters think Romney will handle the economy better compared to 47 percent for Mr. Obama. In Virginia and Wisconsin, Mr. Obama has a 49-47 percent and 49-46 percent edge respectively on the economy issue.

Amid the protests and violence in the Middle East, likely voters in all three of these battlegrounds see Mr. Obama as the candidate who would best handle an international crisis - 50-43 percent in Colorado, 53-42 percent in Virginia and 53-41 percent in Wisconsin. He also has an advantage over Romney in both Virginia and Wisconsin on national security and terrorism - 51-44 percent in Virginia and 50-43 percent in Wisconsin - and a two-point edge over Romney on the issue in Colorado, 48-46 percent. In last month's Colorado poll, Romney beat the president on the issue of national security, 50 percent to 41 percent.

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    Sarah Dutton is the CBS News director of surveys.