While Mitt Romney is polling pretty close to President Obama nationally, the president has a wider lead in swing states, and the findings suggest TV ads are making a difference. Plus, Obama's new immigration policy doubles his lead among Florida Latino voters. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.

Findings: Romney and Obama are nearly tied nationally, with Romney getting 44 percent to Obama's 47 percent. But in 12 swing states, Obama has a wider lead, 50 percent to Romney's 42 percent.

PollsterWall Street Journal/ NBC News

Methodology: Survey of 1,000 registered voters from June 20 to June 24. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points.

Why it matters: Obama's wider lead in swing states could mean that his ads are working, The Journal says. "There are two campaigns—the one being fought out in the press, and one in swing states... We're seeing some indications that the advertising could be having an impact," the survey's Republican pollster Bill. McInturff said. You can make the case for that by looking at how Romney's career at Bain Capital -- the subject of many Obama and Obama-backing Super PAC ads (a still shown at left)-- is seen nationally versus in swing states. Nationwide, 23 percent see Romney more positively because of his business career, 28 percent see him more negatively. But in swing states, 18 percent see his business experience positively, while 33 percent see it negatively.

Caveat: The poll has plenty of bad news for Obama. He's losing ground among white working class voters. Last month, 36 percent of them approved of the job he's doing, while 56 percent disapproved. This month, 30 percent approve and 60 percent disapprove. Plus, only 46 percent of young voters are very interested in the election, compared to 2008, when 62 percent were.


 

Findings: 60 percent of registered voters think Obama inherited the bad economy conditions, which is a higher number than in August 2011, when 56 percent said that.

PollsterWall Street Journal/ NBC News

Methodology: Survey of 1,000 registered voters from June 20 to June 24. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points.

Why it matters: When Obama was sworn into office after the financial crisis, some commentators said that while voters would give him a pass for inheriting the bad economy, at some point, he would take ownership of it. This poll, at least, suggests the opposite has been true -- the longer he's been in office, the more people blame the previous occupant of it. So far, Republican ads saying Obama is a whiner whose only message is "Blame Bush" (a still shown at right) haven't stuck with voters.

Caveat: That doesn't mean voters think Obama's done a good job on the economy. While 32 percent say his policies have helped the economy, 33 percent say they've hurt it and 32 percent say he's made no difference.


Findings: Obama is ahead of Romney in three swing states: Florida (by 4 points), Ohio (by 9 points), and Pennsylvania (by 6 points). 

PollsterQuinnipiac University

Methodology: Survey from June 19 to June 25 of 1,200 Florida voters, 1,237 Ohio voters, and 1,252 Pennsylvania voters. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 percentage points.

Why it matters: The pollster notes that if Obama holds onto his lead in these three states, his reelection would be nearly guaranteed. The poll also shows that Obama's recent executive order stopping the deportation of some young illegal immigrants has helped him in Florida. He was leading Romney among Florida Latinos by 10 points in a mid-June Quinnipiac poll, and now his lead has widened to 24 points. In all three states, the poll finds, Obama is beating Romney on who can fix the economy or at least tied. 

Caveat: Romney was shown beating Obama on the economy in several earlier polls.