It’s been something over a month since I reviewed the polling in the presidential race, so I thought I’d offer an update for anyone who’s interested. As before, I used the list of state polls at Dave Leip US Election Atlas:
There’s evidently quite a bit of noise in the state results: Obama is up by 5 or 17 in Wisconsin, up by 5 or down by 5 in North Carolina, up by 9 or down by 6 in VA (in each case the former would signal an Obama landslide, the latter an extremely close race). You can’t do much with these results, though I would note that the poll showing Romney ahead in NC was conducted by something called High Point University. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the institution where the nutty professor developed flubber. The other NC poll was conducted by an actual pollster.
There are, however, a couple of interesting developments. It has been speculated that Romney might struggle in Rust Belt states because of his difficulty in connecting with working-class voters, but three polls offer hope for him there: according to these surveys, he is down by 3 or 5 points in Pennsylvania and by 4 in Michigan. These are states that Kerry and Gore won, and if they are close in November, Romney has a decent shot at winning. If he can win one of them, he will very likely win the election.
Strangely, he is not doing so well in the third big Rust Belt swing state, Ohio, which is historically a must-win state for Republicans. There has been a lot of polling in Ohio, and it all shows a consistent Obama lead averaging about 7 points. The combined picture looks pretty good for Obama, but PA in particular bears watching.
The other notable development is in states with large Latino populations. There are polls showing Obama up 16 in New Mexico (not shocking, but any time he equals his 2008 performance in a state it’s an excellent sign) and up 31 (!) in CA. Obviously Romney isn’t going to win California, but to be behind by 31 points reflects either a totally deviant poll or some real weakness, most likely both.
The Latino vote is also important in some critical states. Nevada is considered a tossup by some–I would say it’s more of a must for Obama than Romney, but his +8 is a fairly good result. Colorado is a true tossup, and a recent poll showing Obama up 13 there is seriously bad news for Romney. And finally, there is Florida, which is for the GOP what MI and PA are for Democrats. Obama has led in four straight FL polls, including +7 in the most recent one. The overall picture in the heavily Latino states is, at the moment, a disaster for Romney; it would be interesting to see a Texas poll.
Ah well, fingers crossed.