Over the last two months, there has been a clear gap between live interview and automated (IVR) pollsters: Obama seems to have a big lead in live polling, but the robots find a closer race. A majority of surveys in key battleground states have been conducted by automated polling firms. While live interviews dominate national polling (every major media poll is conducted with live interviews), only a few live interview firms conduct polls in the battleground states, since they're expensive.
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.
Since the Democratic National Convention, Obama’s approval rating in the Gallup tracker increased from 44 to 50 percent. Who propelled Obama's bounce? Check out the chart below: If nothing else, the DNC solidified the support of Obama leaning voters. Obama’s largest gains came among Hispanics, independents, non-white voters, moderate Democrats, and high school educated voters. In contrast, seniors, Republicans, and conservatives barely budged in Obama’s direction, if at all.
During convention season, the polls temporarily provide a less accurate picture of the race as voters sway back and forth on either side of their eventual preference. But this week, the polls are becoming more and more predictive of the eventual outcome with every passing day.
Despite the enthusiasm generated by the Democratic National Convention, there remains evidence that a slightly large gap between registered and likely voters continues to persist. On average, likely voters surveys conducted since the conclusion of the DNC show Obama leading by 3.3 points compared to registered voter surveys showing Obama ahead by 6.3 points.
The big picture: Obama continues to hold a modest but clear lead nationally and in critical battleground states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. This is alot, so let’s digest it in segments. Good News For Obama Nearly every poll was consistent with a modest Obama lead nationally of about 4 points and a meaningful edge in the electoral college. Obama hit fifty percent in three national polls and led by four or more in four of the five national surveys.