I’ve been trying not to obsess day-to-day on polls, but I check the Gallup tracking poll every morning. For most of the past month or more, Pres. Obama and Mitt Romney have been separated by two points or less, which amounts to a statistical dead heat. This morning, Obama is up 49-44, which is still a small, technically insignificant lead but looks big because of where things have been. Rasmussen, a poll that many liberals accuse of a pro-Repub bias, also has Obama up by five points.
Obviously, this is the immediate aftermath of the two conventions. They call it a “bump” or a “bounce” in part because it tends to be temporary. But Romney seemed to get no appreciable bump from his convention and Obama did from his.
Of course, given our system, the most important polls are in the swing states. For at least two months, analysts have said that Obama’s position in Electoral College terms was stronger than h is position on the national popular vote and that appears to be the case more than ever. Below, I’ll take the ten states that Real Clear Politics lists as the toss-ups, and then take the RCP average of the last several polls in each of those states, in descending order of electoral votes:
Florida: (29 electoral votes): RCP average: Obama +1.7 percentage points.
Ohio: (18): Obama +2.2.
Michigan (16): Obama +4.0
North Carolina (15): Romney +1.8.
Virginia (13): Obama +0.6.
Wisconsin (10): Obama +1.4.
Colorado: (9): Obama +3.4.
Iowa (6): Obama +0.2.
Nevada (6): Obama +3.3.
New Hampshire (4): Obama +3.5.
In addition, among the states that are not considered toss-ups, Obama leads in states with 221 electoral votes; Romney leads in states with 191.