ELECTIONATE OCTOBER 20, 2012
Yesterday's national polls continued to suggest a tight race in which the president holds a slight edge.
1) Obama is faring better in the national polls than he was last week. Yes, Gallup is a clear exception, but five of the seven polls released yesterday showed Obama with a slight edge. With the race this close, the battleground state math is more important, but neither candidate is likely to overcome a modest defeat in the national popular vote, so it's worth watching to see whether one candidate builds a clearer 2 or 3 point edge by Election Day.
2) A wave of polls in Florida showed Romney leading by an average of two points, roughly in-line with the polls conducted after the first debate, which showed Romney leading by 1.7 points.
Based on twitter conversations, I get the sense that partisans are more confident in their own slight leads. Republicans feeling great about Florida and optimistic in Ohio would be wise to consider that Obama’s doing about as well in Ohio as Romney is in Florida, and Democrats feeling great about Ohio but optimistic about Florida would be wise to consider the opposite.
3) PPP’s poll in New Hampshire adds another data point to the case for a much tighter race in the Granite State. Romney by an extremely slim margin in an average of poll conducted after the first presidential debate, despite the state’s Democratic-lean and a large Obama advantage in pre-debate polls. Chuck Todd tweeted that the Romney campaign is now back on the air in Boston, another sign that the state might be more competitive than conventional wisdom suggests. We’ll see.
4) And PPP didn’t just provide good news to Romney in a state where previous indicators pointed toward a tight race, PPP also showed Romney ahead in Iowa—a state where the other pollsters show Obama performing better than most other battleground states. Like New Hampshire, Iowa is relatively under-polled so it’s more difficult to distinguish outliers from movement. So far, PPP is the only poll pointing toward a Romney advantage in Iowa.
5) Fox News shows Obama up by 3 points in Ohio. With Romney struggling in the Buckeye State, one wonders whether Ryan’s trip to Philadelphia or rumblings about Michigan are an indicator of Romney’s Ohio problem or a sign that they’re looking to go on the offense.