A majority of voters think they have all the information they could want on Romney and Obama in one poll. In another they are frustrated with negative campaigning. Meanwhile, Romney and Obama are tied. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: A majority of voters think they have the information they need on candidates. While 90 percent say they know what they need to know on Obama, 69 percent say they have the necessary details on Romney.
Methodology: 1,001 adults aged 18 or older were interviewed via telephone (landline and cell phone) between July 19 and July 22. The total sample has a margin of error of +/-3.6 percentage points.
Why it matters: The poll implies that voters have pretty much developed their opinions on the candidates.
Caveat: More Republicans think they need to know more about Romney "to form a clear impression of him" than Democrats: 34 percent to 21 percent. That said far more Democrats, as has been the case, than want to know about his tax returns: 56 to 18 percent.
Findings: An overwhelming majority of Americans — 78 percent — are "frustrated" with the tone of the campaign due to negative campaigning.
Pollster: Knights of Columbus/Marist
Methodology: 1,010 adults were surveyed via telephone between July 9 and July 11. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points.
Why it matters: The specific questions in the survey were not included in the press release, but big majorities of people said they don't like negative ads. "In addition, two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) believe candidates spend more time criticizing their opponents than addressing the issues," reads their press release, "while almost as many (64 percent) say negative campaign ads 'harm the political process' either 'a great deal' or 'a significant amount.'"
Caveat: The Knights of Columbus is a non-profit Catholic organization, but is politically active on culturally conservative issues like abortion, so presumably leans towards Romney in the election.
Findings: Obama and Romney are tied with 46 percent each.
Pollster: Public Policy Polling Daily Kos/SEIU
Methodology: 1000 registered voters were polled between July 19 and July 22. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percent.
Why it matters: According to the Daily Kos, it's grim: "There's no getting around: These are the worst head-to-head numbers for President Obama we've found since we started including this question in our poll every week back in April." Furthermore, PPP notes on their Twitter account that his approval rating is at 42 percent — "close to his record low in our polling."
Caveat: The Daily Kos adds a number of qualifications to their original assertion: they say that it could be not a "big deal" and that they've seen numbers that were nearly this close before. Another thing to note: Daily Kos and PPP lean Democratic.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.