With the DNC getting underway in Charlotte, support for Obama is lagging in North Carolina, though polls in Michigan and Colorado are more favorable. Meanwhile, Florida did not give Romney more support after the RNC. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
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Findings: Romney is leading in two recent polls surveying North Carolina. An Elon University/Charlotte Observer poll has Romney at 47 percent among likely voters and Obama and 43 percent, while a High Point University/Fox 8 poll has similar results with 46 percent of registered voters picking Romney and 43 percent for Obama. In another, from Public Policy Polling, the race is tied. Pollsters: Elon University/Charlotte Observer, SurveyUSA for High Point University/Fox 8, Public Policy Polling Methodology: For Elon University/Charlotte Observer: Telephone interviews with 1,089 likely voters August 25 through 30 with a margin of error of 3 percentage points. For High Point University/Fox 8: Survey of 600 North Carolina adults — 543 of which were registered voters — August 26 through 30 with a margin of error for registered voters 4.3 percent. For Public Policy Polling: Survey of 1,012 likely North Carolina voters August 31 through September 2 with a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent. Why it matters: As the DNC gets into full swing in Charlotte, Obama faces an uphill battle in the state where his party will convene. As Michael A. Memoli at the Los Angeles Times pointed out, Obama won North Carolina in 2008 — the first Democrat to do so since 1976. At Business Insider Grace Wyler calls the Elon and PPP polls "depressing" for the President. Caveat: PPP leans left, and Memoli points out a sampling discrepancy between the PPP and the Elon polls. In the Elon poll 77 percent surveyed were white. In the PPP poll 73 percent were. According to 2008 exit polls 72 percent of voters who turned out at the polls were white. Also, while the Elon and PPP polls survey likely voters, the High Point poll's results are derived from registered voters.
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Findings: Obama leads by seven in Michigan, 51 percent to 44 percent, and three in Colorado, 49 to 46 percent. Pollster: Public Policy Polling Methodology: Survey of 815 likely Michigan voters August 31 through September 2, with a margin of error of +/-3.4 percent. Survey of 1,001 likely Colorado voters August 31 through September 2 with a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent. Why it matters: At Talking Points Memo Kyle Leighton says these results as a sign that Obama "leads in two major swing states." We pointed out on Friday, that Michigan has become a weird race in the polls, but that Nate Silver cautioned not to regard it as a "toss-up," noting the discrepancy between in-state polls and national polls of the state. Here's an example of a national poll showing an Obama lead in the state. That said, that lead is down by half of what it was in July. As for Colorado, the race is drawing closer, which PPP explains, is "suggesting that Romney may have received a modest bounce in the state." Alexander Burns at Politico puts it this way: "there's a glass half-full and half-empty read for both sides. Any lead is good news for a president as vulnerable as this one, but Romney can take some comfort in the fact that he's closed the gap." Caveat: PPP, as we mentioned above, leans Democratic.
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Findings: Obama is up one point — 48 percent to Romney's 47 percent — in Florida. Pollster: Public Policy Polling Methodology: Survey of 1,548 likely Florida voters August 31 through September 2 with a margin of error of +/-2.5 percent. Why it matters: PPP points out that the race in Florida is in the same place it was five weeks ago before the convention, indicating that "the Republican convention being held in Tampa appears to have been a wash." Nationally, Romney doesn't seem to have received that "bounce" either. Caveat: Same as above.