There’s lots of contradictory polling floating around today, so let’s try to unpack some of it. We’ll begin with the ‘battleground’ numbers teased in the headline:
President Obama remains marginally ahead of Mitt Romney in a new national CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday, although Romney leads Obama in the 15 states identified by the network as battleground states. Obama leads Romney nationally, 49 percent to 46 percent, with 4 percent of those surveyed saying they would vote for another candidate or neither candidate. That is inside the poll’s margin of error, and it is identical to the 49 percent to 46 percent lead Obama had in the previous poll, conducted in late May…However, in the 15 states CNN calls its battleground states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin — Romney leads Obama, 51 percent to 43 percent. Notably, though, the CNN/ORC International group includes three states thought to be comfortably in the Romney column this cycle: Arizona, Indiana, and Missouri.