First Read: Obama Keeps Romney at Bay in Midwest

President Barack Obama seems to have built a firewall in the Midwest that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign can't breach, NBC's First Read team writes. New NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Marist College polls out of Iowa and Wisconsin on Thursday night show Obama still with a six-point lead in Wisconsin and an eight-point lead in Iowa, despite the Romney camp's frenetic campaign pace there. In Ohio, meanwhile, Obama is also still ahead by six points, as of last week's NBC poll, and if Obama wins all three of those states, First Read points out, he will win the election. But the Romney camp disputes those numbers, saying the race in Iowa is much closer and that poll numbers are skewed by early voting volume there. Meanwhile both rivals are making concerted efforts to look like winners, as Obama faces rising pressure in Virginia and Florida and Romney in the Midwest. On Friday, in other campaign developments in swing states, The Denver Post and the Tampa Bay Times endorsed Obama, while the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Romney.

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