A just-released NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of likely voters: finds President Obama with an inside-the-error-margin lead over Mitt Romney, 49-44 percent.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson holds an overwhelming 14 percentage point lead against Republican challenger Connie Mack - 16 percentage points among registered voters. It's the second poll to show such a big, double-digit lead by Nelson.
Nationally, the big story is the Florida poll and identical results in Virginia found by Marist.vObama holds a bigger advantage in Ohio where he leads Romney 50-43. Assuming that's 1) not an outlier and 2) holds through election day, the Ohio numbers mean it's lights out there for Romney, who needs both Florida and Ohio in the win column. But this is one poll. And there's time --though it's running out.
"Obama has double-digit lead in all three states when it comes to foreign-policy handling," notes NBC's Mark Murray.
Also boosting Obama: he and Romney are essentially tied on handling the economy in Florida and Virginia, Murray reports. In Ohio, a more-union friendly state than those in the South, Obama has 4-point edge over "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" Romney.
Note: the results of this poll in Florida mirrors a survey from SurveyUSA, but differs from a Florida business group's poll (taken by a firm that typically surveys for Republicans) that found inverse results.
**Post has been updated and corrected (pardon the two prior typos as this was typed on a BlackBerry [yes, I still use one] at my kid's soccer practice).