Elizabeth Warren has experienced a bounce in the Massachusetts Senate race polls, and Obama has a foreign policy edge on Romney. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
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Findings: Elizabeth Warren has leads over Scott Brown in new polls in the Massachusetts Senate race. A Public Policy Polling poll has Warren up by two points — 48 percent to 46 percent — among likely voters while another from the Western New England University Polling Institute shows Warren leading among them by six — 50 percent to 44 percent. Pollster: Public Policy Polling, Western New England University Polling Institute Methodology: For PPP: Automated poll of 876 likely Massachusetts voters September 13 through 16 with a +/-3.3 percent margin of error. For the Western New England University Polling Institute: Telephone interviews of 444 likely voters September 6 through 13 with a margin of error of +/-4.6 percent. Why it matters: Warren trailed Brown by five points in the previous PPP poll, and led by two among registered voters in the previous WNE poll. (She leads by 12 among all registered voters now.) Both Talking Points Memo and the Huffington Post pegged Warren's bounce to her speech at the Democratic National Convention. Caveat: Mark Blumenthal at the Huffington Post writes, "As always, these readings are just a snapshot, and the Massachusetts race remains one of the closest in the nation." Their HuffPost pollster chart shows an "essentially tied" race.
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Findings: In a Monmouth University Poll 51 percent of likely voters trust Obama to handle foreign policy while 42 percent trust Romney. That said, Rasmussen's tracking poll still shows 48 percent trusting Obama and 45 percent trusting Romney to "handle events in the Middle East." Pollster: Monmouth University Poll with interviewing services by Braun Research, Inc. and Survey USA, Rasmussen Methodology: For Monmouth: Poll of 1,344 likely voters September 13 through 16 with a margin of error of +/-2.7 percentage points. For Rasmussen: Three-day rolling average of telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points. Why it matters: Foreign policy has not been a Romney selling point, but Chuck Todd explained how the events could hurt Obama on Today: "this is the type of unexpected event that could end up — looking back — it could be one of those things that derails the election." Caveat: Rasmussen's Republican-leaning house effect. Plus, according to Rasmussen: "as of this morning, only seven percent (7 percent) of voters rate national security issues as the most important in Election 2012."