Florida - Romney leads 48% to Obama at 45%. Obama won Florida 51-48% over McCain.
Colorado - Obama won Colorado 54-45% four years ago, but has dropped to a 45-44% near-tie in the latest poll.
Virginia - Obama won Virginia 53-46% in 2008, but finds it a too-close-to-call 46-44% lead now.
Ohio - The polls show a 48-45% lead for the president after winning the state by a slightly larger 51-47% over McCain.
*Romney starts where McCain left off in Florida and Colorado, and is just two points shy in Virginia and Ohio. But Obama starts off down 9 points in Colorado, 7 in Virginia, 6 in Florida, and 3 in Ohio when compared to his 2008 efforts. A good sign for Romney given the rest of the findings.
*Undecided voter's make-up 11% of the poll sample in Colorado, 10% in Virginia, and 7% in Ohio and Florida. While it's still to early to apply the "undecided voter" rule, the general belief is that as the general election draws closer, undecided voters tend to break for the challenger. But it also means these people aren't really leaning towards Obama at this point, and are open to being convinced by Romney over the course of the campaign.
*Obama is in full-campaign mode and has already spent more than $100 million in campaign ads in the battleground states (Over $75 Million of those were in negative ads). He has spent more than $20 Million in Ohio alone, which is close to his total 2007-2008 spending. Florida and Virginia are the next states Obama has heavily spent money in. By contrast, Romney has spent around $20-25 Million in ads overall. And for Obama's efforts? 4 essential ties in states he won by between 3-9 points in four years earlier.
*Obama's attacks have been bizarre (birth control!), desperate (gay marriage, amnesty), and over-the-top lies (Bain, out-sourcing, student loans) intended to stir up the base in support of him. Romney has had a low-fireworks effort so far, perhaps smartly saving his ammo and cash for the post-Olympics campaign period where people actually start paying attention. Yet despite Romney's lower-key and cost-efficient campaign, he is holding his own in polls. What happens to these poll numbers when Romney starts matching or exceeding Obama in spending and messaging?
*Finally, this campaign could show why Romney's business experience is crucial. While Romney is pacing himself early on when people are more interested in Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise than who they will vote for in 4 months, Obama is out-spending his fundraising and treating his campaign like he treats the federal deficit: without concern for cost or where the money comes from (heck, just print it!).