Monday, September 17, 2012

Presidential Polls and State of the Race

Last weekend, September 7-10, saw a number of national polls, many of which had a convention bounce for Bill Clinton Barack Obama. Since then, however, Gallup's 7 day tracking poll has moved from Obama +7 to Obama +3 and Rasmussen has moved from Obama +5 to Romney +2. A tracking poll is one that polls every day, reporting the results of the last 7 days with Gallup and the last three with Rasmussen. Thus, the oldest date drops out when a new one comes in. There has been one national poll that has been conducted since the bounce should have faded.

There have been a number of swing state polls. When you see them, look at party ID. PPP has D+13 in North Carolina and Marist has D+10 in Ohio. There's no way the electorate will be that Democratic. It appears the media is using 2008 as their baseline and sticking with somewhere within a few points either way. That's irresponsible.

The polls which came out at the end of last week were less favorable to Obama and those this week may be more so. So don't judge on a few numbers you might hear without looking at when the survey was conducted and what they're using for party ID.

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