Obama may be losing his post-convention bounce according to a new tracking poll, McCaskill solidly leads Akin, and Obama has a hold of New Mexico. Meanwhile, 30 percent of Americans are satisfied with how things are going in the country. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Rasmussen's tracking poll today finds the race once again neck-and-neck with Obama leading 46 percent to Romney's 45 percent.
Methodology: Three-day rolling average of telephone surveys involving 500 likely voters per night with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
Why it matters: Despite having just showed an Obama post-convention bounce, Rasmussen says "that's now gone." The one-point margin is matched by an ABC News/Washington Post poll of likely voters we reported yesterday.
Caveat: Rasmussen is conservative and this poll does not take into account any fallout from the recent violence in the Middle East. Also, Gallup's tracking poll, which surveys registered voters, has Obama up by seven points today: 50 percent to Romney's 43 percent. Finally, according to The Hill, some recent polls are indicating good news for Obama in a "new strength among male voters."
Findings: Claire McCaskill leads Todd Akin by six points — 49 percent to 43 percent in the Missouri Senate race.
Methodology: Automated poll of 500 likely voters in Missouri September 11 with a margin of error of +/-4.5 percentage points.
Why it matters: Things look worse for Todd Akin, but he insists on staying in the race after his "legitimate rape "comments. Even though Eric Kleefeld at Talking Points Memo calls McCaskill's lead "strong," Rasmussen comments that "Akin has rebounded slightly from late August when he trailed McCaskill 48% to 38%."
Caveat: Rasmussen is, as per above, conservative.
Findings: Obama leads by 11 in New Mexico — 53 percent to 42 percent.
Pollster: Public Policy Polling
Methodology: Survey of 1,122 likely New Mexico voters September 7 through 9 with a margin of error of +/-2.9 percent.
Why it matters: Another recent poll in the state made New Mexico appear to be a five-point race, but this poll makes Obama's lead seem much more comfortable. Emily Schultheis writing for Politico explained, "New Mexico is going to be a tough state for Republicans to win this year, on the Senate level or the presidential level, and the PPP data today help show why that's the case."
Caveat: PPP is Democratic.
Findings: Gallup finds that 30 percent of people are now satisfied with the way "things are going" in the country — the highest amount since August 2009.
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,017 adults September 6 through 9 with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.
Why it matters: This poll can be looked at from two perspectives: glass half empty versus glass half full. You could note that most of our country is still dissatisfied, or you could figure that the level of satisfaction is at least better than it had been. Kevin Robillard at Politico writes: "A year ago, only 11 percent of Americans were satisfied or somewhat satisfied, while 88 percent said they were dissatisfied." Meanwhile, we should not that while 52 percent of Democrats say they are satisfied, only 7 percent of Republicans do.
Caveat: Gallup notes: "The improved satisfaction in September may be explained partly by the effects of the recent Democratic National Convention, which produced a bounce in support for Obama and a rise in Americans' economic confidence."