Obama's Bouncing, but Some Swing States Are Still Close

Rasmussen's tracking poll now follows suit with a bump for Obama. That said, North Carolina remains neck-and-neck and New Mexico is perhaps closer than it should be for a non-swing state. 

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Rasmussen's tracking poll now follows suit with a bump for Obama. That said, North Carolina remains neck-and-neck and New Mexico is perhaps closer that it should be for a non-swing state. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter. 

Findings: Rasmussen's tracking poll now shows Obama leading by five points. 
Pollster: Rasmussen 
Methodology: Telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night "reported on a three-day rolling average basis" with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
Why it matters: On Friday we noted that Rasmussen's tracking poll had not yet given Obama a convention bounce, despite Gallup's appearing to do so. Now that bounce comes. According to the pollster, this is Obama's "biggest lead over Romney among likely voters since March 17." Writing on Saturday, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver explained some tracking poll data "suggests that the conventions may have changed the composition of the race, making Mr. Obama a reasonably clear favorite as we enter the stretch run of the campaign."
Caveat: Rasmussen leans right. Also, we'll see how this progresses. Mark Blumenthal at the Huffington Post writes: "Historically, party conventions have produced a polling bounce for each party's candidate. While these changes are typically short-lived and offsetting, the net effect of the party conventions has sometimes produced big net shifts and lasting changes in vote preferences." Yesterday Nate Cohn at The New Republic wrote in a piece that mostly showed how the bounce is good news for Obama: "The skeptics are right about one important matter: these assessments are tentative and hinge on confirmation by additional pollsters later this week."

Findings: Obama's up in Ohio by five points: 50 percent to Romney's 45 percent. 
Pollster: Public Policy Polling 
Methodology: Automated telephone poll of 1,072 likely voters in Ohio September 7 through 9 with a +/-3 percent margin of error. 
Why it matters: PPP notes that this is the most Obama has been up in the battleground state since May. Why? Kyle Leighton at Talking Points Memo writes, "there seems to be a pretty simple reason for an uptick in Obama’s support — more voters in Ohio approve of the job he’s doing." Meanwhile, Maggie Haberman at Politico explains, "Romney can catch up but a lot has to happen, if the numbers are correct, in a state where the auto bailout has helped Obama and where the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action has been surgically airing Bain ads for months." 
Caveat: PPP leans Democratic. Also, Leighton points out that Obama's lead is "an improvement for Obama, but still well within the margin of error."

Findings: Obama's status in convention state North Carolina hasn't much changed in a PPP poll. He   now leads by one-point, 49 percent to 48 percent, up from a tie at 48 percent last week.
Pollster: Public Policy Polling 
Methodology: Survey of 1,087 likely voters in North Carolina September 7 through 9 with a margin of error of +/-3 percent. 
Why it matters: Even though Obama now as a national leg up following his convention, in the swing state state the convention was held he's pretty much in the same spot he was. That said, even though Obama doesn't have a big lead, Alexander Burns at Politico sees trouble for Romney: "But the state is also an essential part of Romney's electoral map in a way that it isn't for Obama, so the fact that the state is even in play at this point is a source of frustration to some on the GOP side of this race." 
Caveat: PPP's lean.

Finding: Obama leads Romney by five points — 45 percent to 40 percent — in New Mexico. 
Pollster: Research & Polling Inc. for Albuquerque Journal
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 667 likely voters September 3 through 6 with a margin of error of +/-3.8 percentage points. 
Why it matter: Burns points out that neither Obama or Romney is treating New Mexico as a "battleground," however this poll shows the race probably too close for comfort for the Obama campaign, with 7 percent of the survey going for Libertarian Gary Johnson. Eight percent are undecided.
Caveat: Brett LoGiurato at Business Insider notes that the "poll was taken during the Democratic National Convention last week, so it's possible that Obama has ramped up some more support in New Mexico."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.