Mitt Romney is polling just behind President Obama in Florida, a state he needs to win to get enough electoral votes unseat the president. While he's behind Obama on a lot of issues, Romney has an advantage on the economy. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Obama is leading Romney just barely in Florida, by 45 percent to 43 percent. If popular freshman Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is Romney's running mate, Obama is still ahead, but by slightly less, with 45 percent to the Republicans' 44 percent.
Pollster: Fox News
Methodology: Survey of 757 registered voters from April 15 to April 17.
Why it matters: Romney probably needs to win Florida to get to 270 electoral votes, but every poll released since February has shown Obama ahead in the state.
Caveat: Public Policy Polling finds that adding Rubio to the ticket actually hurts Romney nationally.
Findings: The gap between Obama and Romney has narrowed. Polls differ in how much -- NBC/ Wall Street Journal says Obama's ahead by 6 percentage points, while CBS/ New York Times finds them tied, and Gallup finds Romney up by 5 points. But the gap is smaller.
Pollster: NBC/ Wall Street Journal; CBS/ New York Times; Gallup
Methodology: All these polls are of registered voters -- not likely voters -- the earliest survey beginning April 13 and the latest ending April 18.
Why it matters: While Republicans are despairing that Romney is doomed, the polls show that's not quite the case. Even Romney-backer Sen. John McCain told Fox News Thursday night, "Right now, let's have some straight talk, we're running behind, okay. I think it's about five or six points." McCain, though, is one of the more optimistic Republicans: "It's always better to run from behind.... so let's assume that we're behind, and that is we've got to hone our message, and we can do that, and I'm convinced that the speeches that Mitt Romney's been making lately are outlining, laying out that agenda for the future."
Caveat: Even as the polls narrow, Obama has advantages like money, organization, and incumbency, The Hill's Christian Heinze points out.