Without CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac, today was all but assured to be a better polling day for Romney. That said, the polls still suggest that Obama leads nationally, as well as in states worth 348 electoral votes. Let's talk about Nevada. In most of the electoral maps produced here over the last four months, Nevada was presumed to be one of the very first battleground states to enter Obama's column.
Three NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac polls grabbed the headlines by showing Obama with double-digit leads in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Importantly, Obama hit 53 percent in all three states, giving him more than enough of the vote to withstand substantial losses among undecided voters. Obama’s lead in the battleground states is getting large enough that the margin might not accurately represent his advantage. The remaining undecided voters are probably latent Romney supporters—voters who tend to vote for Republican candidates, disapprove of the president’s performance, but dislike Romney.
Some allege that the polls oversample Democrats, since they show Democrats outnumbering Republicans by the same margin that they did in 2008, or even more. It does seem hard to imagine that Democrats are regenerating the same support that they received in the midst of a perfect storm, but a closer look reveals that the polls don't show as many Democrats as 2008. Consider the “media” polls that have received scrutiny over the last few weeks.
Every day that goes by without a shift in Romney's direction or an event that could plausibly induce such a shift is a lost day for the Romney campaign. This isn’t about who wins the news cycle; whether Obama refers to Middle Eastern violence as a bump in the road doesn’t matter. It’s about events that could reshape one of the most stable races in modern electoral history. The race is likely tighten, if for no other reason than because Romney’s still short of 47 percent, which, in my view, is probably his floor given the president’s disapproval rating.
It's been apparent for a couple of months now that Mitt Romney has a real problem in Ohio, which is great news for Democrats—Mitt can't realistically afford a loss in the Buckeye State. But if you’ve been looking at the post-DNC polls in Ohio, you might think that Romney’s Ohio problem is a little overstated. Yes, he’s losing by about four points in the state, but he’s also losing by four points nationally.