New polls out today find that Obama has leads in swing state Ohio and swing-y state Wisconsin. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Obama leads in Ohio 48 percent to Romney's 40 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson picks up 2 percent of those surveyed and 10 percent are undecided. While Democrats largely support Obama, and Republicans Romney, fewer Democrats support Romney than Republicans support Obama. Of those in the survey identifying as Republican, 19 percent said they were voting for Obama. Romney takes independents 41 percent to 38 percent.
Pollster: We Ask America
Methodology: 1,115 likely voters in the state were surveyed in an automated poll on July 24. The margin of error is +/-3 percent.
Why it matters: We Ask America says that Ohio is "perhaps the quintessential and, arguably, most important swing state." So this is ostensibly good news for Obama. According to The Hill, the poll projects "a larger lead than most other recent polls, but not far from the Real Clear Politics average of polls, which shows Obama leading Romney by 5 in the Buckeye State." We Ask America itself also notes that the 19 percent of Republicans who say they are voting for Obama is notable. But they say a pick of Ohio Senator Rob Portman "could reverse what we're seeing today." That said, as The Hill pointed out earlier this week, previous polls have demonstrated that picking Portman would do little to change the race in the state.
Caveat: Some people consider We Ask America as Republican-leaning.
Findings: A switcheroo in Wisconsin. Whereas last month Romney was ahead of the president for the first time in Wisconsin 47 percent to 44, now Obama leads 49 percent and Romney 46 percent.
Methodology: 500 likely voters in Wisconsin were surveyed in an automated poll July 25. The margin of error of +/-4.5 percentage points.
Why it matters: Obama won Wisconsin last time around, but in June, with the Governor Scott Walker recall vote in limbo, his campaign had it as a "toss-up." After Walker won, the victory was seen as good news for Republicans. The Washington Post wrote: "Walker’s victory was a party victory." Though this poll appears to show Obama ahead, the lead is within the margin of error.
Caveat: Rasmussen has a tendency to overstate Republican success.