Voters in three swing states see more strong leadership qualities in Romney than Obama; in another poll of swing states we find the debate didn't change that many people's minds; a small number of debate watchers do so on two screens; and the national tracking polls once again conflict. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: In Colorado, Virginia, and Wisconsin Romney's looking more like a leader than Obama. Whereas 54 percent, 62 percent, and 59 percent of likely voters in the three states, respectively, think Obama has "strong leadership qualities," 67 percent, 64 percent, and 65 percent think Romney does.
Pollster: Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS News
Methodology: Survey of 1,254 likely Colorado voters, 1,288 likely Virginia voters, and 1,327 likely Wisconsin voters from October 4 through 9 with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
Why it matters: Post-debate Romney looks more like a leader than President Obama, and Michael D. Shear and Megan Thee-Brenan at the Times write that "the poll suggested that Mr. Romney had gained strength in a number of ways since last month."
Caveat: Shear and Thee-Brennan also point out indications that Obama still has something to hold on to: the outlook on economics and being relatable. And as our Elspeth Reeve wrote this morning, this poll, along with one from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, shows that the campaign is essentially back to where it was all summer.
Findings: The NBC/WSJ poll found that the debate wasn't really a mind-changer: In Florida only 6 percent of likely voters said they'd decided who they would throw their weight behind after the debate, and in Ohio and Virginia only 7 percent had.
Methodology: Poll of 988 likely voters in Florida, 994 likely voters in Ohio, and 981 likely voters in Virginia from October 7 through 9 with a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent.
Why it matters: Perhaps this implies that, as Reeve wrote this morning, the race is just settling in again to neck-and-neck status. Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion Lee Miringoff told The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook that "Most people already picked sides."
Caveat: Hook pointed out that Romney's favorability did increase in this poll and "the exposure seems to have improved voters' impression" of him.
Findings: Of the 56 percent of Americans who watched the debate live, 11 percent were "dual screeners," meaning they followed both television coverage and coverage on a computer or mobile device, and three percent only followed on a computer or mobile device.
Methodology: Telephone interviews of 1,006 adults from October 4 through 7 with a margin of error of +/-3.7 percentage points.
Why it matters: Most people are still watching TV, so, old media trumps in this situation.
Caveat: That 11 percent could just be media people. (We're kidding. Kind of.)
Findings: Romney is up by three points in the Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll and by one point in Gallup, but is down by a point in Rasmussen.
Pollster: Reuters/Ipsos, Gallup, Rasmussen
Methodology: For Reuters/Ipsos: Online survey of 1,092 likely voters from October 7 through 11 with a credibility interval of +/-3.4 percentage points. For Gallup: Seven-day rolling average of 2,700 likely voters with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. For Rasmussen: Three-day rolling average of 500 likely voters per night with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
Why it matters: The collection of these polls don't paint a clear picture. Yesterday Rasmussen had Romney up by a point. Today it's Obama. Gallup went from a tie to a Romney lead, and Reuters/Ipsos shows a Romney lead keeps growing. This morning the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza tweeted: "Totality of swing state polls out today have to make Obama campaign feel good. National Romney bounce not nearly as big in swing states."
Caveat: In the Weekly Standard Jay Cost raises an eyebrow about a potential Democratic shift in Gallup because of a change in methodology. That said, he notes, it's unclear if that's taking hold in the head-to-head likely voter contest.