The latest Marist poll results for “the iron triangle of battleground states”—as MSNBC’s Chuck Todd called Florida, Ohio and Virginia on Thursday's The Last Word— have just been released, and they show President Obama holding a solid lead over Mitt Romney.
According to the poll, Obama leads Romney by five points in Florida and Virginia, and is outpacing him by seven points in Ohio. This is also the first time over 40% of all three states have simultaneously reported that the nation is on the right track.
Chuck Todd told Last Word host Lawrence O'Donnell that the boost to that last number was “the Clinton bump,” coming after the former president’s rousing speech to the Democratic Convention.
Most observers weren’t expecting significant bumps from the conventions, assuming they’d cancel each other out. However, it appears that female vote may be making the difference. O’Donnell asked Todd about Obama’s lead among women voters in the three states.
"Double digits in all of them," Todd replied. "Romney’s lead among men is in low single digits and you see that he’s got the widest gender gap in Ohio. But in all of these cases it’s double digit leads for the president among women, but only single digit leads among men for Romney."
Women aren’t the only problem for Romney. He’s still lagging way behind with Latino voters, and the Marist poll showed him down 12 points in Tampa, home of the 2012 Republican Convention. To add further to the Romney campaign's headaches, third party candidate Virgil Goode will be on the ballot in Virginia, where he could pull Republican votes away from Romney.
One last thing to consider: Romney’s heavily criticized attack on Obama's response to the riots in Libya and Egypt came after poll results were calculated. To more accurately gauge the fallout of this latest foreign policy misfire, we’ll have to wait for further polling.