In the latest swing state polls, Obama is up by 8 in Virginia and five in Michigan, and Romey leads by 2 in Colorado and 1 in Florida. While in the Massachusetts Senate, Elizabeth Warren keeps her lead. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Obama leads in Virginia by eight points — 52 percent to 44 percent — among likely voters.
Pollster: Washington Post with sampling, data collection, and tabulation by Abt-SRBI.
Methodology: Telephone poll of 1,104 adults including 847 likely voters, from September 12 to 16, with a margin of error of +/-4 percent.
Why it matters: Virginia is what Nate Silver in a New York Times Magazine story labels a "New Breed" swing state: "In these states, which Obama carried in 2008 but Kerry and Gore lost, swift demographic changes have become manifest." Laura Vozzella and Jon Cohen of the Post explain that as far as their poll goes: "Obama’s steady lead suggests that an unprecedented barrage of TV ads and dozens of in-person visits have yet to change the bottom line in the key battleground state."
Caveat: Vozzella and Cohen do caution that "The parity on the economy underlines a lingering vulnerability for Obama, particularly as looming defense cuts threaten the industry and the state’s economy as a whole." Silver notes that Virginia "has also been a headache for pollsters" this year because of erratic results, and in the Real Clear Politics average Obama leads by 2.8 points.
Findings: Romney is up in Colorado 47 percent to 45 percent.
Methodology: Automated poll of 500 likely Colorado voters on September 17 with a margin of error of +/-4.5 percent.
Why it matters: Silver puts Colorado in the same category as Virginia explaining, "If demographic changes favor the president in Colorado, the state’s anti-incumbent spirit — it voted for Bill Clinton as the challenger in 1992 but not as the incumbent in 1996 — does not." Rasmussen points out that previous polls from the state have showed a tie between the two candidates, with Romney now very slightly ahead.
Caveat: Rasmussen leans Republican.