The New Jersey governor may have appeared at the GOP convention last night, but a poll from his state shows Obama with a strong lead. Meanwhile, the Missouri and Connecticut Senate races are worth keeping an eye on, and despite registration success for Democrats in Nevada, the race is tight. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Obama has 14 point lead in New Jersey among likely voters: 51 percent to 37 percent.
Methodology: Telephone poll of 916 New Jersey registered voters — among whom 710 were were likely voters — August 23 through 25 with a sampling error for likely voters of +/-3.5 percentage points.
Why it matters: This is pretty unsurprising. Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who gave the keynote at the Republican National Convention last night, said this morning, that Romney couldn't win in the state BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray reported. According to poll director David Redlawsk Obama has the upper hand based on how they perceive him personally: "Voters like him better and feel he shares their values and cares about them. While Romney keeps it closer on the hard issue of the economy, and wins easily on leadership, voters generally prefer to support someone they like over someone they don’t."
Caveat: We should point out that the poll was taken before Christie's speech at the convention. Though, to be fair, Christie didn't really talk about Romney as much as himself, and is not optimistic about a Republican future for the state in this election.
Findings: Todd Akin is leading Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race 45 percent to 42 percent.
Pollster: Wenzel Strategies for the Family Research Council
Methodology: Survey of 829 voters August 27 through 28 with a margin of error of +/-3.38 percent.
Why it matters: Yet another addition in the confusing Akin-McCaskill polling that's been happening in the wake of Akin's comments about "legitimate rape." A poll reported over the weekend McCaskill a nine point lead, according to Alexander Burns of Politico. Burns called that poll the "first credible poll to be taken after Todd Akin's comments about rape have had time to sink in."
Caveat: The Family Research Council is a conservative group.
Findings: While Obama holds a 13 point lead in a new Connecticut poll, but the more interesting race in that state is between Senate candidates Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy. Murphy leads now with a four point margin.
Pollster: Public Policy Polling
Methodology: Poll of 881 Connecticut voters August 22 through 23.
Why it matters: As the New York Times noted, the Senate race is too close for comfort, with McMahon edging up on "favorite" Murphy. Just yesterday we noted that Quinnipiac had McMahon up by three points. According to Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver: "a relatively strong performance by Mr. Romney in Connecticut could help the Republican Senate candidate, Linda E. McMahon, to carry the state."
Caveat: PPP leans left.
Findings: Obama leads in Nevada by three points — 50 percent to 47 percent — a margin that has been halved since his six point lead in June.
Pollster: Public Policy Polling
Methodology: Automated poll of 831 likely Nevada voters August 23 through 26 with a +/-3.4 percent margin of error.
Why it matters: As PPP notes, Republicans are actually lagging behind Democrats in the the state when it comes to voter registration, but Romney is helping the state maintain its swing because of his success among independents.
Caveat: We mentioned above, PPP leans Democratic.