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What Do We Make of These Latest Battleground State Polls?

Polls: Ties in MI, MN, NH, OH, PA

Kevin's covered most of the national numbers; here's a quick rundown of last-minute state polls:

Michigan - A Fox 2 Detroit poll has Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama by a fraction of a point, rounded-up to 48/47.  The sample is D+9, which is pretty reasonable for the state.  A few other polls have shown this race close, but most surveys give Obama the edge.  Definitely a heavy lift for the GOP ticket.

Minnesota - On the heels of an eye-opening Star Tribune poll showing the race within the margin of error last week, a new NBM Research survey shows Mitt Romney with a tiny edge in the state, 46/45.  Caveat: This is a Republican firm.  No other polls have Romney ahead in Minnesota, so take this data with a boulder of salt.  For what it's worth, Paul Ryan is campaigning in the state today.

New Hampshire - The final WMUR/UNH poll shows Mitt Romney pulling even with the president, 47/47 -- closing an eight-point gap.  Independents are breaking for Romney 54/32.  Let's be clear: If Romney beats Obama among independents in the Granite State by roughly 20 points on Tuesday, he's going to win the state.  Indies account for approximately 40 percent of registered voters there. The D/R/I partisan breakdown of this poll is 41/39/19, which under-samples indies.

Ohio - In addition to the fresh margin-of-error poll from the Columbus Dispatch, the Reuters tracking survey shows the race extremely tight in the Buckeye State.  Obama leads 47/46.  Rasmussen has the race deadlocked at 49; other polling gives the president a more comfortable lead, ranging from three to five points.  Anecdotally, I've heard that Romney's internal polling in Ohio projects a very small Obama lead (1-2 points) in Ohio, a margin that could be overcome by strong GOP turnout.

Pennsylvania - The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shows the Keystone State very much up for grabs: 47/47, with a fair D+7 sample.  Other pollsters show a tightening race, generally confirming that Romney has the momentum, but with Obama clinging to the lead.  The Republican nominee is campaigning outside Philadelphia today, and Democrats are deploying Bill Clinton to the state for four separate campaign stops tomorrow.

Mitt Romney drew an enormous crowd in Colorado last night (estimated at 17,000 -- see photo below), a state where polls seem to be all over the map.  The New York Times' top campaign reporter can't help but notice the genuine excitement among Republicans this year, as additional newspapers are flipping from Obama to Romney. The consensus of the polling is that the two candidates are tied nationally, while Obama enjoys very slight leads in the most important swing states.  Either Mitt Romney will fall just short on Tuesday, or a lot of the "experts" will be stunned by his victory -- though not all of them.  Conflicting trends: MKH notes that Romney's favorability has increased dramatically in recent weeks, although the dwindling ranks of independents are now splitting evenly between the two camps in national polls.  Republican intensity is high, but Democrats may be catching up.  The only thing that matters at this stage is who turns out.

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