Washington, Oct.14 : Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has gained a two percentage point lead over his opponent John McCain in the swing state of Ohio, according to the latest FOX News/Rasmussen Reports Battleground Poll.
This week's poll shows Obama holding a narrow advantage ranging from two to five percentage points in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Missouri, and he is tied with McCain in North Carolina.
The only notable change this week was in Ohio, where Obama is now on top, 49 percent to 47 percent, overcoming a one-point deficit in each of the previous two weeks and an even larger lead for McCain in the Buckeye State in the weeks prior to that.
The race for Ohio's 20 Electoral College votes is now well within the margin of sampling error, but trending toward the Democrat.
In Virginia, a state that no Democrat has won since 1964, Obama earns 50 percent support for the third straight week while McCain is at 47 percent. Those results are essentially unchanged from each of the past two weeks.
In Florida, it's Obama 51 percent, McCain 46 percent. In Missouri, the results are unchanged from a week ago -- Obama 50 percent, McCain 47 percent.
The first FOX News/Rasmussen Reports poll in North Carolina finds a tie in the Tar Heel State. Both McCain and Obama earn 48 percent of the vote. The fact that the race is even competitive in this southern state signals trouble for McCain.
Overall, these swing state results confirm what the national numbers are showing. For the past two-and-a-half weeks, Obama's support has stayed in a very narrow range from 50 percent to 52 percent every day in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. During that time, McCain has been at 44 percent or 45 percent every day.
The national results indicate that Obama is running eight or nine points better than John Kerry did four year ago. The state polling released this week generally shows Obama doing eight or nine points better than Kerry as well.
In all five states this week, the number who would be "extremely comfortable" with Obama as president is higher than the comparable number for McCain.
Economic issues continue remain far and away the top priority in all states.
With the economy as the dominant issue and Obama having the edge on that issue even in these previously Republican states, the race appears to have stabilized for the moment.
The question going forward is whether the McCain campaign can do anything to change this dynamic. The upcoming debate on Wednesday night may be the best chance for McCain directly to alter the national dialogue or hope for an Obama mistake.
Rasmussen Reports conducted five state telephone surveys in partnership with FOX News Channel on October 12, 2008. The surveys were conducted in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. A total of 1,000 likely voters were interviewed in each state using the Rasmussen Reports automated telephone survey methodology.
The margin of sampling error for the full sample in each state poll is 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.