Nationally, Gallup held fairly steady today, with Romney leading by six among likely voters; Rasmussen has it tied, with data suggesting a small Romney bump is probably on the way. A new Gravis nationwide poll has Romney leading 46-44, despite a D+8 sample. The GOP nominee leads independents by eight points in that survey. PPP’s DailyKos/SEIU tracker has Obama up one, thanks to strong youth support. (Romney leads every other age group, and young voters are the least likely cohort to vote this year). But what about those crucial battleground states? Here are quick flashes from around the country:

(1) Iowa – A venerable Hawkeye State politico says the race looks like a virtual dead heat with Obama fractionally ahead, but with Romney gaining. A major signal he’s picking up on is the GOP’s surprising strength in the early/absentee balloting process, which traditionally benefits Democrats: