Just five days before the election, President Obama is maintaining a five-point lead over Mitt Romney in the key battleground state of Ohio, the latest Quinnipiac/NYT/CBS News poll shows. Obama stands at 50% and Romney at 45%. He fared well in other state and national polls out Wednesday, too.
These latest Ohio numbers, collected from October 23-28, had Wednesday's Morning Joe panel talking.
"If you're Barack Obama, those are some of the best numbers you've seen in several years," Joe Scarborough said, referring to the 52% of likely Ohio voters who told pollsters they think the economy is getting better. Just 17% of likely Ohio voters believe the economy is getting worse, the poll shows.
However, the same poll shows a tight race in both Florida and Virginia. In Florida, Obama is leading by just a point, 48% to 47%, and in Virginia, the president is leading 49% to Romney's 47%.
Wednesday afternoon brought more good polling news for Obama. A poll United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection (yes, that's quite a mouthful!) survey gave the president a five-point lead nationally—though most national polls show the race just about deadlocked. And a poll of Wisconsin by Marquette University—considered the gold standard for Badger State polls—gave Obama an eight-point lead, after other recent surveys had suggested the state could be in play for Romney.
"...Mitt Romney [is] going up against such a strong headwind, at least in the Buckeye State. It’s hard to see how he picks up those five points over the next six days," Scarborough added.
The panel agreed that even if 75% of the state's undecided voters break Romney's way, it may not be enough to bring him over the top in Ohio.
Yet NBC's Tom Brokaw still said that anecdotally, the country is feeling that "things aren't quite right...a lot of people still very very uncomfortable with the direction of the country."
The panel wondered if a scenario like the 1980 presidential race—where Ronald Reagan made a late surge and beat Jimmy Carter—could happen in 2012.
Does Brokaw's feeling portend a last-minute shift in the race?
"My mind is telling me Obama is going to win," Scarborough said. "[But] I talk to people out in America and I just wonder whether there’s going to be a last-minute surge. A lot of people are saying that off camera."