In 2008, Obama performed better among white voters in Ohio (46 percent) than he did nationally (43 percent), and in Ohio this year, his standing among whites is 44 percent, better than in the other two states in which NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist surveyed.
Half of likely voters in Ohio approve of the job Obama is doing, and 51 percent have a favorable impression of the president. Romney, on the other hand, continues to lag in Ohio when it comes to personal popularity. Just two in five voters view him favorably, and half have an unfavorable opinion.
Obama leads Romney in the race for Virginia's 13 electoral votes, 49 percent to 44 percent. Two percent prefer another candidate, and 5 percent are undecided.
As in Ohio, neither candidate is able to lure a sizable number of the other's partisans, while independents split down the middle, 45 percent for Romney and 43 percent for Obama.
Romney also leads among white voters, 55 percent to 39 percent. Obama's share of the white vote is identical to his performance among whites in 2008, according to exit polls, but Romney trails the 60 percent McCain won in 2008. Obama leads among nonwhites, 77 percent to 15 percent.
Also as in Ohio, there is no enthusiasm gap. Obama leads among high-enthusiasm voters, 50 percent to 45 percent, the same as his overall margin. And among those voters who "strongly support" their candidate, Obama leads by 9 points.
A 49-percent plurality of likely voters approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared to 45 percent who disapprove. Additionally, 53 percent have a favorable opinion of Obama.
Meanwhile, 46 percent view Romney favorably, roughly the same as the 45 percent who view him unfavorably.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls were each conducted Sept. 9-11, after the Democratic convention and last week's August unemployment report, but before the extent of the incidents at U.S. embassies in North Africa became widely known. The polls surveyed 980 likely voters in Florida, 979 in Ohio, and 996 in Virginia. Each poll carries a separate margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The WMUR-TV Granite State Poll was conducted Sept. 4-10; some interviews were conducted prior to speeches at the Democratic convention and the August jobs report. The poll surveyed 592 likely voters, for a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.