Despite the glut of tough ads against him, Mitt Romney has edged past President Obama in a new national poll that reflects dimming views about the state of the economy.
The New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday shows Romney with a 45-43 percent lead. That's within the poll's margin of error but marks the first time Romney has held any lead in the survey since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.
The results suggest economic attitudes might have a lot to do with the changing dynamic. The poll showed 55 percent disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, while 39 percent approve.
In a separate Quinnipiac University poll out Thursday looking at just the battleground state of Virginia, the two candidates were dead even -- with 44 percent each. That, too, marks an improvement for Romney who trailed Obama in the state by 8 points in a March Quinnipiac poll.
The Virginia poll of 1,673 registered voters was taken July 10-16 and had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points. The Times/CBS poll of 982 registered voters was taken July 11-16.
Both polls were taken amid attacks from Democrats about Romney's refusal to release more than two years' worth of tax returns, but also attacks from Republicans about Obama's gaffe last week in which he told business owners, "you didn't build that."