Obama's up by slim margins in two Ohio polls, a national poll has Obama up by five, Michigan might be up for grabs, Obama's up by eight in a Wisconsin poll, and Europeans like Obama. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Obama is up by five and two in polls out from Ohio.
Pollsters: Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times, University of Cincinnati Institute for Policy Research Ohio Poll
Methodology: For Quinnipiac: Landline and cell phone poll of 1,110 likely voters in Ohio October 23 through 28 with a +/-3 percentage point margin of error. For University of Cincinnati: Landline and cell phone poll of 1,182 likely voters October 25 through 30 with a +/-2.9 percent margin of error.
Why it matters: As Jeff Zeleny and Dalia Sussman of the New York Times write the states electoral votes are seen by both campaigns as "as critical to victory." For both, they say, the aim is targeting white voters without college degrees, where the two candidates are even in the state in this poll. So, while these polls show Obama is in a slim lead in the state, Romney is very much still in the game. At the Washington Post Chris Cillizza writes that "there are any number of reasons to believe that Romney can’t, won’t and shouldn’t give up on winning in Ohio."
Caveat: According to the Quinnipiac poll Obama is leading in early voting, but based on the Real Clear Politics average Obama's lead is by far not as large as five points—he stands at up 2.3 points above Romney.
Findings: A United Technologies/National Journal poll has Obama up by five points nationally.
Pollsters: United Technologies/National Journal
Methodology: Landline and cell phone poll of 713 likely voters October 25 through 28 with a 4.4 percentage point margin of error.
Why it matters: As we became used to seeing Romney up by five in Gallup, this poll is striking for swinging in the other direction. Some, including Nate Silver, have taken to looking as Gallup as something of an outlier.
Caveat: In the Real Clear Politics Average Romney is up by a mere .2 points.
Findings: Obama leads 47.7 to 45 percent in a Michigan poll. Update: Another poll from EPIC-MRA has Obama up by six.
Pollster: Detroit News/WDIV Local 4
Methodology: Survey of 600 likely voters October 27 through 29 with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.
Why it matters: Romney is still clearly at play in his home state—another recent poll showed the candidates essentially tied—where Restore Our Future is engaging in an ad blitz.
Caveat: Obama is countering the pro-Romney ads.
Findings: Obama is up by eight in Wisconsin based on a poll from Marquette University Law School
Methodology: Poll of 1,243 likely voters October 25 through 28 with a +/-2.8 percentage points.
Why it matters: The Marquette poll gives the state firmly to Obama, even though as Tom Kludt at Talking Points Memo points out, this has not always been the case. This is a state, as Kludt points out, that Democrats have carried in every presidential race since 1984, but it's Ryan's home state and has been considered a swing.
Caveat: He's only up by four in the RCP average.
Findings: Obama would win with 90 percent of the vote if Europeans were voting.
Methodology: Poll of British, German, French, Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian adults.
Why it matters: Well, it doesn't really, except for the fact that Obama is still in good standing with Europeans. For what it's worth Obama also gets 65 percent support in a poll of philosophers.
Caveat: As YouGov Director of Political and Social Research Joe Twyman says, Romney just "has yet to make much of an impression on Europeans."