As come inside a week of the election, what are the polls telling us?
With so many curveballs coming at is in the form of late breaking stories, natural disasters and odd ball polls, it’s tempting to say it’s all topsy turvy. But the real news from the polls is more one of basic stability and if anything a slow movement in Obama’s direction in critical states.
The national polls remain basically a wash. The PollTracker average has it at literally dead even at the moment — 47.9% to 47.9%. But several of the tracking polls temporarily stopped tracking the race during the storm. But it’s been more or less dead even for a good three weeks.
The state polls look pretty much the same too. For all the hyper-focus on Ohio, it too has been fairly stable since Romney’s big move after the first debate (it actually seemed to begin just before the first debate but we’ll discuss that another time), with Obama making some very slight headway over the last week or so. You can see the trend chart here.
There have been a lot of headfakes and questions about this state or that. But the map looks pretty much the same as it did last week and frankly six weeks ago, though the margins in many states are a good deal tighter.
So there’s been a lot of talk about Wisconsin coming back into contention by the release of the premier in-state poll today showing an 8 point Obama margin seems to put that idea to rest. The PollTracker Average currently shows the state Obama +3.3.
One of the quick and dirty ways of looking at the numbers that I use is to look at the states on the 2012 Presidential dashboard which you can see here on the lower right. Unlike the electoral map this shows the top swing states and colors them red or blue depending on which candidate is ahead, even if it’s the most trivial of margins. Even like .1% for instance, just who has any numerical margin in the average. A week or so ago I think there were six states in red albeit very narrowly. Now we’re back to one — New Hampshire.
Put it all together and you get the same basic conclusion. If the election were held today and the consensus of the polls were basically right, Obama would be the strong odds on favorite to win. Six more days until we find out for sure.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.