A Nailbiter in Massachusetts

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It's still a tight race for the senate in Massachusetts, polls make small movements in the national race, and another poll makes North Carolina a dead heat. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.

Findings: In a poll from the Boston Globe Scott Brown leads Elizabeth Warren by a mere two points among likely voters, but the two are tied among undecided voters.
Pollster: University of New Hampshire Survey Center for the Boston Globe.
Methodology: Poll of 583 likely voters October 24 through 28 with a +/-4.1 percentage point margin of error.
Why it matters: Nothing's clear going into election day in this nail-biter race. Recent polls from Rasmussen Reports and WBUR/MassINC put Warren up by five and six points. Now this one gives Brown the slight edge.
Caveat: Though there was supposed to have been a debate tomorrow night, perhaps a chance to make things clearer, but both candidates pulled out due to Sandy.

Findings: A Pew poll out today shows both candidates with 47 percent support among likely voters, while Gallup put Romney back up by five points and the Politico/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll gave Obama a one point lead.
Pollster: Pew, Gallup, Politico/GWU
Methodology: For Pew: Landline and cell phone poll of 1,495 likely voters October 24 through 28 with a margin of error of +/-2.9 percentage points. For Gallup: daily tracking. For Politico/GWU: Poll of 1,000 likely voters October 22 through 25 with a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent.
Why it matters: The last Pew poll created a stir by putting Romney up by four following the first debate. Now their assessment puts the two in a dead heat. In what also looks like a movement to Obama: Politico's tracking poll gave the president a three point swing from a week ago, James Hohmann writes, even though the race is essentially tied. On the other hand, though yesterday's Gallup had Romney leading by four, the Republican now back into a five point lead.  Romney is now up by 0.8 in the Real Clear Politics average.
Caveat: There's now the question of whether Sandy will have an impact on this race.

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Findings: In North Carolina the two candidates are tied 45 percent.
Pollster: Elon University
Methodology: Telephone poll of 1,238 likely voters October 21 through 26 with a margin of error of +/-2.79 percentage points.
Why it matters: Elon reports that the race in North Carolina is tightening—in late August Romney had a lead of four percentage points. Meanwhile, Obama is winning by a larger margin when it comes to early voting, and Kyle Leighton at Talking Points Memo pointed out that Democrats have an advantage when it comes to voter registration.
Caveat: Nate Silver said that the state was introduced to the FiveThirtyEight forecast model as "a modest favorite" for Romney and "Pretty much the same could be said about the race today."

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