Now that the Republican primary is over, the race between Mitt Romney and President Obama is getting closer. Romney has the edge nationally, but Obama has the edge in the states that matter. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Mitt Romney is beating Barack Obama 48 percent to 47 percent among likely voters
Pollster: Politico/ George Washington University
Methodology: Survey of 1,000 likely voters from April 29 to May 3.
Why it matters: The poll finds Romney with a 10-point lead among independent voters, though a smaller, 6-point lead among people who say they're "extremely likely" to vote in the general election. Not surprisingly, the issue Obama is most vulnerable on is the economy -- 39 percent say he made it worse, 40 percent say he made it better, and 19 percent say he didn't affect it one way or the other. And 34 percent think the economy's still in a recession, or close to one, while 42 percent the economy is growing and 22 percent think it's stagnant.
Caveat: There are 183 days till the election.
Findings: But in swing states, Obama is beating Romney 47 percent to 45 percent.
Pollster: USA Today/ Gallup
Methodology: Survey from April 26 to May 2 of 951 registered voters scattered among these states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Why it matters: Because of the electoral college, only a handful of states pick the president, and there's no advantage for Obama to run up the vote tally in California or Romney to try to turnout lots of voters in Texas. The poll also finds that Obama's advantage among women peaked in March -- it was 17 points then, compared to 12 points in February and 12 points now. Like the Politico survey, the USA Today poll finds problems for Obama on the economy, as 60 percent say Romney would do a good or very good job on the economy, while only 52 percent say that of Obama.
Caveat: Polls of likely voters are usually considered more reliable than polls of registered voters.