Daily Breakdown: Wait-and-See Mode

by Nate Cohn | September 18, 2012

Somehow, there were just four polls released on a Monday in a hotly contested presidential election in late-September. 

The big news was a Monmouth/SurveyUSA/Braun national survey showing Obama ahead by 3 points among likely voters and 7 points among registered voters, compared to a 1 point Obama lead among likely voters and 4 points among registered voters over the summer. The survey was conducted between September 13th and 16th, which is significant in itself, since it’s the only non-tracking poll to survey after September 12th, at least so far.

And the poll has a lot of merit independent from its timing. It uses both automated and live interviews, including reaching out to cell phone voters. Theirs results were very consistent over the summer (both internally and with respect to the average national numbers) and this poll and appears to follow that tradition. For perhaps the first time in months, I don’t think either side’s cross-tabs police will be criticizing an insufficient number of Republicans or non-white voters. Put differently: this is a poll that relies on a sound methodology and its reasonable top-line results are supported by internals that can't be easily dismissed by those looking for a means to dismiss them. 

In terms of the result itself, the Monmouth/SurveyUSA/Braun survey is consistent with the view that Obama’s bounce has persisted into the third week of September. The Gallup and Rasmussen trackers have stabilized with Obama performing about 2 points better than their longer term averages, and the Monmouth/SurveyUSA/Braun survey also showed Obama doing about 2 points better than their longer term average. If confirmed by the balance of pollsters, that would probably leave Obama with a 3 or 4 point lead among likely voters. We’ll see how much of Obama’s lead holds into next week.

PPP released a survey showing Obama up by just 1 in Wisconsin. This is the first Wisconsin poll following the DNC and it's a Romney-friendly result for PPP. That said, the poll managed to show Tammy Baldwin leading by 3 points. It's a little hard to imagine Baldwin outperforming Obama.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/electionate/107384/daily-breakdown-wait-and-see-mode