Pew shows Mitt Romney leading by four points, the tracking polls paint a confusing picture, swing state polls show President Obama leading by a small margin, and fewer Obama supporters than Romney supporters are "extremely likely" to vote. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Romney leads Obama nationally among likely voters by four points among likely voters, with 49 percent to Obama's 45 percent.
Methodology: Telephone interviews of 1,112 likely voters October 4 through 7 with a margin of error of +/-3.4 percentage points.
Why it matters: This is a big reversal from a Pew poll last month which showed Obama up by eight, and is an indication that Romney's debate win has some effect on the overall state of this race.
Caveat: Talking Points Memo's Tom Kludt writes other pollsters have shown a less dramatic post-debate shift.
Findings: Obama is up 50 percent to Romney's 45 percent in Monday's Gallup tracking poll, but in a separate post Gallup notes that, since the debate, the race has moved into a tie. Rasmussen's tracking poll has the race tied with each candidate at 48 percent each.
Pollster: Gallup, Rasmussen
Methodology: For Gallup: Seven day rolling average of telephone interviews with 3,050 registered voters with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. For Rasmussen: Telephone survey of 500 likely voters a night in a three day rolling average with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
Why it matters: So these numbers are kind of baffling. Business Insider's Joseph Weisenthal tweeted: "Wait, seriously. Gallup Obama +5? Joke, right?" Now, Gallup's seven-day average — October 1 through 7 — gives Obama the five point lead whereas its numbers from October 4 through 6, after the debate, show the race tied. The Huffington Post's Mark Blumenthal said the debate has showed a "dramatic tightening" in tracking polls. That said, The New Republic's Nate Cohn tweeted, "Between Rasmussen, Gallup, and PPP's tweets about their nightly samples, there's a strong case that Romney's bounce was short-lived." Cohn previously explained that "some of the worst news for Mitt" is coming from Rasmussen which "initially lurched in Romney's direction" and now shows a tied race.
Caveat: It's kind of clear at this point that nothing's really clear.