Two polls have contradictory results on whether President Obama or Mitt Romney is winning women, Romney has a big leg up with white voters, and PPP shows everything all tied up in North Carolina. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: In a new AP-GfK poll Mitt Romney erases President Obama's lead among women, the two tying 47-47 percent. But, Obama leads by 54 percent to 43 percent among women in the ABC News/Washington Post poll out Thursday.
Pollster: AP-GfK, ABC News/Washington Post
Methodology: For AP-GfK: Telephone survey of 839 likely voters October 19 through 23 with a margin if error of +/-4.2 percentage points. For ABC/WaPo: Landline and cell phone poll of 1,386 likely voters October 21 through 24 with a margin of error of 3 points.
Why it matters: Despite the competition for undecided female voters, Obama's lead among women had been one of the few sure things for him in this campaign. In the AP though poll though: bye-bye. The Obama camp is pushing back against the AP poll. Per CBS News, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told reporters on a flight that: "If you look at the aggregate of all the polls, what you see is that the president has a very strong advantage among women."
Caveat: Nancy Benac and Jennifer Agiesta of the Associated Press point out that Romney holds a "slight edge among men," and he has had to deal with the Richard Mourdock fallout.
Findings: Likely voters trust Romney to handle the economy 52 percent to 43 percent. He's also neck-and-neck on the question of who gets American economic problems, Obama leading 48 percent to 46 percent.
Pollster: ABC News/Washington Post
Methodology: See above.
Why it matters: Romney has an upper-hand on the issue that's the focus of the campaign. Jon Cohen writes at the Washington Post: "And just as the challenger has leaped ahead on this score, he has effectively neutralized what has been a consistent fall-back for Obama: economic empathy."
Caveat: The race is within three points overall, 50-47, but Romney has hit the 50 percent mark.
Findings: In an ABC News/Washington Post poll out Wednesday evening Obama is down 21 points among white voters, getting 38 percent of their vote to Romney's 59 percent. In Thursday's poll Romney inched up to 60 percent of white support.
Pollster: ABC News/Washington Post Wednesday, Thursday
Methodology: Yesterday: sample of 1,394 likely voters. Today: see above.
Why it matters: As Scott Clement and Jon Cohen of the Washington Post note, Obama has always polled much stronger among non-whites than he has among whites. But they add that "among whites, Obama is currently doing much worse than he did in 2008." Even in 2008, when he won the election, he lost white voters by 12 points. Obama probably needs 40 percent of the white vote to win in 2012, National Journal's Ronald Brownstein reported in August.
Caveat: Obam at least still has a "new high" of 80 percent of support among non-whites today.
Findings: Public Policy Polling shows the presidential candidates tied in North Carolina.
Pollster: Public Policy Polling
Methodology: Survey of 880 likely voters October 23 through 25 with a margin of error of +/-3.3 percent.
Why it matters: Though PPP explains that this is in fact a move in Obama's direction, CNN yesterday evening moved the state to "leans Romney," citing the fact that Obama hadn't been there since the Democratic National Convention.
Caveat: First off, Business Insider's Brett LoGiurato contradicted the CNN report on Twitter: "If you say that Obama has given up on NC simply b/c he hasn't been there since Sept., then by the same token Romney has given up on Wisc, NH." PPP also is Democratic-leaning.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.