Follow the bouncing polls

Slatest reports contradictory poll results following Mitt Romney’s big debate win last week:

A TALE OF TWO POLLS: In the wake of Mitt Romney’s historic debate performance last week, the GOP challenger has leapfrogged President Obama and now leads the incumbent among likely voters with less than a month to go until the election. Unless, of course, he hasn’t, and his post-debate bounce has since evaporated. Those were the two very different narratives suggested by a pair of polls out Monday.

GOOD NEWS, MITT: The Pew Research Poll released the results of its latest polling this afternoon—the first major survey taken entirely after last Wednesday’s debate—that showed Romney and Obama knotted at 46 apiece among registered voters, and the Republican out in front 49 percent to 45 among likely voters. That’s quite a change from last month’s survey, when Obama led 51-42 among registered voters and 51-43 among likely voters.

GOOD NEWS, BARACK: Gallup, meanwhile, offered a different snapshot of the state of the race for the White House. The polling outfit’s latest seven-day rolling average—which included polling conducted through Sunday—shows the president out in front by 5 points, 50-45, among registered voters. That figure was particularly noteworthy because Obama had seen a pre-debate lead of 4 points shrink to 3 points by Saturday, before jumping back up to 5 points once Sunday’s results were factored in…

12 thoughts on “Follow the bouncing polls

  1. Phillip

    I have fun fooling around with those make-your-own-electoral-maps, like the one of Huffington Post. Lately, I’ve been worrying a bit about this scenario, which if you look at the map is not at all implausible to me:

    but then I believe it really might come down to Omaha, right? that is to say, Nebraska divvies up its electoral votes by congressional district, so even if Romney carries the state, Obama could eke out one elector to win the election. If it goes to the House, of course Romney wins.

  2. Norm Ivey

    Both of these are national polls and are pretty much meaningless. It’s the polls in the swing states that are worth watching. Most polls have Obama still leading in most of those states. Florida and North Carolina are pretty much toss-ups right now.

  3. joanneh

    It’s kind of like the Coaches’ Poll in college football. People voting who really don’t get a chance to watch the games being played while they’re playing as well.

  4. Norm Ivey


    Interesting map and plausible, but Romney taking Nevada is a stretch, I think. The growing Hispanic population there tips it more toward Obama. Certainly Romney taking all six of the swing states you’ve awarded him is doubtful.

  5. bud

    It’s been mostly a good 6 days for the Mittster. However, as the impact of the improving jobs situation sinks in Obama should recover. Next up the Joe and Paul VP show. Should be more lively than the POTUS debate and could help people forget that one. Nate has it about a 74% odds of the president winning re-election. Intrade is lower – 66%. I think Nate is closer to having it right. Still, Romney should be thankful for his improved situation. Another bad debate by Obama and the odds could be a coin toss.

  6. bud

    The very latest poll numbers indicate Obama is in a freefall. Interesting how fickle the public is that a debate largely without a major gaff could turn around the dynamics of the race so completely. No sure whether it was Romney won the debate so much as the spin rooms, especially the Democratic spin rooms, were so adament in declaring Romney the overwhelming winner. I’m going to reassess and declare the race about a 55/45 in favor of the president. A couple more bad polls and I’ll drop his odds even further.

  7. Bart

    Newsflash! Newsflash! If the polling is correct, Romney has now taken an overall lead in the 11 swing states and is in contention for Pa., Wisc., and Mich. Of course, polls can change overnight and no one should be too confident with 4 weeks left before the election.

    So, for now, we will have to breathlessly await bud’s final analysis and odds so we can determine who will win it all.

  8. Phillip

    In the end we’ll likely have an extremely close race, which is what it looked like all along until briefly in the late summer and after the Dem Convention and “47%”. I expect that we’ll have our third nailbiter election out of the last four.

    And Norm, I agree that Nevada is a weak link in my Electoral College tie scenario, but the polls are tightening there too (generally going from solid Obama to leaning Obama) and so you never know. Can you imagine what a mess that would be if it is a tie, or if Obama seems to be the winner by virtue of one congressional district in the non-winner-take-all Nebraska elector race? The machinations that would go on between the election and the significantly later date that the Electoral College actually “votes” would make the mess of 2000 pale by comparison. We’re talking more Hayes vs. Tilden here.

  9. bud

    After a week of poll carnage for Obama the worst may be over. Romney is slightly ahead in the RCP average but trailing slightly in the electoral math. At this point it could go either way. Not sure I can still favor Obama in any meaningful way but I don’t think the polls clearly show Romney in the lead either. What is surprising is that the good jobs report number didn’t supercede the debate. It is just so hard to predict public sentiment. I would have thought the jobs numbers would have been far more important than any debate without a major gaff. But it is what it is.

  10. Bart

    “I would have thought the jobs numbers would have been far more important than any debate without a major gaff.”…bud

    Unfortunately, the numbers did not include a very large state, California. Strange that should happen at this time in the campaign. How long will it take to adjust the numbers and publish the correct ones?

    So, it may have been an oversight on the good people at BLS or not. But to omit California does open the door to questions that should be asked and answered.

    When CNBC and CNN, not known to be conservative networks, raise eyebrows over the drastic drop in unemployment claims and increase in jobs, I guess the old, “move along, nothing to see here” reaction is applicable.


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