(CNN) – A poll of voters in the key battleground states of Iowa, Colorado and Wisconsin released Thursday shows President Obama with an advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey indicates Obama pulling ahead among likely voters by five points in both Wisconsin and Colorado with 50% to Romney's 45%, a margin that is within the poll's sampling error. But in Iowa the president holds an eight point lead with 50% to Romney's 42%, which is outside the poll's sampling error.
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In this case, 'likely voters' includes those leaning towards a candidate. Among the wider sample of registered voters, Obama's advantage is even greater: 6 points in Colorado, 8 in Wisconsin and 11 in Iowa.
The poll was conducted from Sunday through Wednesday of this past week, partially before and partially after a controversial video leaked of Romney speaking to high-dollar donors at a fund-raising event posted by the liberal-leaning magazine Mother Jones. The video caught fire Monday and Tuesday showing the GOP candidate speaking candidly about a number of issues including claiming that nearly half of Americans would automatically vote for the president because they are dependent on government and consider themselves "victims."
The poll also shows a notable gender gap among likely voters. Among women, Obama leads in all three states by margins ranging from 12% to 18%. Romney leads among men with margins ranging from 2% to 5%.
The poll shows Romney's favorability also taking a hit with voters in Colorado showing 43% favorable to 50% unfavorable; in Iowa, it's 42% to 50%; and in Wisconsin, it's 43% to 46%. Compare those numbers to Obama's favorability ratings in Colorado with 51% favorable and 45% unfavorable; Iowa with 53% to 42%, and Wisconsin with 51% to 44%.
According to the poll, the candidates remain in a dead heat on voters' perception of whether they will help the economy. Wisconsin shows 46% of likely voters picking Romney and 45% choosing Obama. In Colorado, the president has a slight advantage on this issue with 48% compared to Romney's 46%. Obama, however, is up on this issue by four points in Iowa with 47% to Romney's 43%.
And among voters age 60 and older, in Wisconsin Obama leads 48% to Romney's 46%. In Colorado, however, Romney leads 50% to Obama's 45% among seniors, and in Iowa Obama leads by a three point margin: 48% to Romney's 44%.
Other recent polls conducted in these swing states also show the president with an advantage among likely voters. A poll conducted by Marquette University Law School released Wednesday showed the president leading with 54% to Romney's 40% among Wisconsin likely voters. A Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll out Wednesday indicated the battle for Colorado's nine electoral votes is much closer, with 48% of likely voters backing the president and 47% supporting Romney. There have not been recent polls released from Iowa.
Together the three battle ground states have 25 electoral votes.
The NBC/WSJ/Marist polls were conducted September 16 through 18 of 971 likely voters in Colorado with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points; 898 likely voters in Iowa with a sampling error or plus or minus 3.3 percentage points; and 968 likely voters in Wisconsin with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
CNN's Dana Davidsen and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.