We're in convention season and it looks like Romney is lacking on questions of empathy. Meanwhile the two candidates are tied in North Carolina, DNC territory, while Obama holds leads in Connecticut and Iowa. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Whereas 54 percent of registered voters think Obama understands their problems compared to 42 percent who don't, only 41 percent of voters think Romney does compared to 50 percent who don't.
Pollster: CBS News
Methodology: Telephone calls with 1,218 adults — including 1,051 registered voters — August 22 through 26 the margins of error for both samples +/-3 points.
Why it matters: CBS notes that these numbers come days before Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention, where The New York Times has reported the campaign is working to "overcome perceptions that Mr. Romney is stiff, aloof and distant." Meanwhile, our own Elspeth Reeve today explained how the task of humanizing has fallen to Ann.
Caveat: Romney still polls better than Obama when it comes to creating jobs, as Tom Kludt of Talking Points Memo notes. He's still in the red: 45 percent don't think he has a "clear plan" while 43 percent do, but he's in better shape than Obama.
Findings: A poll out of North Carolina shows Obama and Romney tied in North Carolina with 43 percent each among registered voters.
Pollster: SurveyUSA for High Point University
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 600 North Carolina adults of which 540 are registered August 18 through 23 with a margin of error for the presidential candidate question at +/-4.3 percent.
Why it matters: North Carolina will play host to the Democratic National Convention next week. This poll keeps in line with the poll from the state that came out yesterday, which showed Romney and Ryan with a one point lead.
Caveat: The poll yesterday focused on likely voters, whereas this one focuses on registered voters. Likely voter screens can often help the Republicans.
Findings: Obama leads in Connecticut 52 percent to Romney's 45 percent among likely voters.
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,472 likely voters August 22 through 26 with a margin of error of +/-2.6 percentage points.
Why it matters: Even though that seven-point lead may look pretty wide, poll director Douglas Schwartz explains that it's a "is a far cry from his 23-point victory in 2008 over John McCain."
Caveat: The state isn't entirely blue. The Senate race between Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Chris Murphy is a toss up with McMahon leading 49 percent to 46 percent.
Findings: Obama's lead is Iowa is shrinking, now leading only 47 percent to 45 percent.
Pollster: Public Policy Polling
Methodology: Automated poll of 1,244 likely Iowa voters August 23 through 26 with a +/-2.8 percent.
Why it matters: According to PPP, Iowa's a swing state where Obama had held a wider lead: in July it was at five points, in May it was at 10. Meanwhile, today Politico reports that the Romney campaign is targeting young voters in the state: it has "a full-page ad in the Iowa State Daily railing against Obama's record on youth unemployment, and Romney supporters are planning a campus rally just hours before the president is scheduled to visit Tuesday." In this poll Obama leads 50 percent to Romney's 40 percent among voters under the age of 45.
Caveat: PPP leans left.