As one would expect, another very heavy day for data with just five days until Election Day. Today, we see the converse of the previous days: Obama's national numbers looking better than they have all week, while McCain seems to have staunched a little bit of the bleeding in his state numbers (although, it must be noted, it could hardly be called a "good day" for him in the state polling).
In all, we have four national polls, the seven trackers, and a total of 60 individual polls to peruse.
For the first time in several days, John McCain failed to make up any ground in the seven major tracking polls. In fact, he receded a bit today, as Barack Obama's average lead crept back up to 6.0%, up from yesterdays low of 5.6%.
In all, three polls went in Barack Obama's direction today. Rasmussen (O+3 to O+5) and Zogby (O+5 to O+7) both moved two points in Obama's favor today. IBD/TIPP also moved in Obama's direction today, albeit by a single point (O+3 to O+4).
Two polls went in McCain's direction today, but only by a single point. One was the Research 2000 tracker, which moved fractionally (but, due to rounding, moved from O+6 to O+5). The other was the Diageo/Hotline poll, which also shed a single point (O+7 to O+6).
Two of the trackers stayed steady today: Gallup (O+7) and ABC/Washington Post (O+8). The quasi-tracker from GWU/Battleground stayed steady for, I dunno, the 131st straight day.
Meanwhile, we have a quartet of stand-alone polls. The ones that presumably will get the most attention are the ones at the extremes. Fox News' poll puts the race at just three points (47-44), and it seems as if they will be successful in their bid to win the "Drudge Shout-Out" for the day. Of course, they are presuming a turnout equally composed of Republicans and Democrats, so bring the salt when you read it.
Look, Fox kids, I would NEVER accuse a news outlet of intentional manipulation of data...but a one-point D/R spread?? Really?? You just gave every left-wing media conspiracy theorist a raging hard-on, Ailes...
On the other end of the spectrum, as it has been for most of the cycle, is the CBS News poll, which still stakes Obama to a double-digit edge (+11). In between, we find both the Economist (Obama +7) and Harris (Obama +6).
In all, a pretty solid lead for the Democrat, which is especially significant when you consider that essentially NONE of the interviews for these polls were conducted before the Obama televised address/commercial last night, which was widely watched (over 30 million, estimated) and was, from all reports, well received.
NATIONAL POLLS (AND QUASI-TRACKERS)
CBS NEWS: Obama 52%, McCain 41%
THE ECONOMIST: Obama 49%, McCain 42%
HARRIS: Obama 50%, McCain 44%
GWU/BATTLEGROUND: Obama 49%, McCain 46%
FOX NEWS: Obama 47%, McCain 44%
ABC/WASHINGTON POST: Obama 52%, McCain 44%
GALLUP: Obama 51%, McCain 44%
ZOGBY: Obama 50%, McCain 43%
DIAGEO/HOTLINE: Obama 48%, McCain 42%
RASMUSSEN: Obama 51%, McCain 46%
RESEARCH 2000: Obama 50%, McCain 45%
IBD/TIPP: Obama 48%, McCain 44%
John McCain does get some better numbers than he has become accustomed to in places, but it is far from a good day for the GOP nominee. He still trails in North Carolina, Nevada, Virginia, and Ohio. The good news for him? He appears to be losing Virginia by less than he used to be. Oh, and then there's the somewhat bizarre figure that Mason Dixon drops out of Pennsylvania. They have it as a four-point race on the same day that both Muhlenberg and CNN have it as a 12-14 point race. Someone's missing it here, and since every other pollster in the field (exception: Rasmussen) has it closer to double digits, I have my doubts about M-D on this one. I use the Nate Silver rule here--if it looks like an outlier, it probably IS an outlier.
Meanwhile, three different pollsters out McCain behind again in North Carolina. I agree with Cenk on this one--if Obama takes North Carolina, he may very well hit that 350 electoral vote "landslide" threshold.
ALABAMA--SurveyUSA: McCain 61%, Obama 36%
ARIZONA #1--Mason Dixon: McCain 48%, Obama 44%
ARIZONA #2--CNN: McCain 49%, Obama 43%, Others 6%
CALIFORNIA--Field Poll: Obama 55%, McCain 33%
COLORADO #1--Marist: Obama 51%, McCain 45%
COLORADO #2--National Journal: Obama 48%, McCain 44%
FLORIDA--National Journal: Obama 45%, McCain 44%
IDAHO--Harstad (D): McCain 55%, Obama 32%
INDIANA #1--Research 2000: Obama 47%, McCain 47%
INDIANA #2--Selzer: Obama 46%, McCain 45%
INDIANA #3--Rasmussen: McCain 49%, Obama 46%
KENTUCKY--Rasmussen: McCain 55%, Obama 43%
MASSACHUSETTS--SurveyUSA: Obama 56%, McCain 39%
MINNESOTA #1--University of Minnesota: Obama 56%, McCain 37%
MINNESOTA #2--Mason Dixon: Obama 48%, McCain 40%
MONTANA--Rasmussen: McCain 50%, Obama 46%
NEVADA #1--Research 2000: Obama 50%, McCain 45%
NEVADA #2--CNN: Obama 50%, McCain 43%, Others 6%
NEW HAMPSHIRE--UNH: Obama 58%, McCain 34%
NEW JERSEY--Research 2000: Obama 54%, McCain 38%
NORTH CAROLINA #1--CNN: Obama 52%, McCain 46%, Others 2%
NORTH CAROLINA #2--National Journal: Obama 47%, McCain 43%
NORTH CAROLINA #3--Rasmussen: Obama 50%, McCain 48%
OHIO #1--CNN: Obama 50%, McCain 43%, Others 4%
OHIO #2--National Journal: Obama 48%, McCain 41%
PENNSYLVANIA #1--Mason Dixon: Obama 47%, McCain 43%
PENNSYLVANIA #2--CNN: Obama 53%, McCain 41%, Others 5%
PENNSYLVANIA #3--Muhlenberg College: Obama 54%, McCain 41%, Others 1%
SOUTH CAROLINA--NBC: McCain 53%, Obama 42%
SOUTH DAKOTA--G.Q.R. (D): McCain 45%, Obama 40%
TEXAS--U. of Texas: McCain 51%, Obama 40%, Others 1%
VIRGINIA #1--Marist: Obama 51%, McCain 47%
VIRGINIA #2--National Journal: Obama 48%, McCain 44%
Lots of interesting stuff down-ballot. Apparently, Liddy Dole's late-race use of the atheist card is not going over swimmingly, as she has actually LOST some ground in her tough campaign against Kay Hagan. All one has to do is look at the slightly dusty poll released today by Mason-Dixon, and compare it to the pair of recent polls also released today, to see the difference. Did she really lose ten points in a week? Also, Rick Noriega is back within single digits of Senator Cornyn in Texas, and Cornyn is now well under 50%.
Bad news for the Democrats: a second poll seems to confirm that Norm Coleman is clawing back into the lead in Minnesota. The twin hits of the Star-Tribune endorsement and the Barkley candidacy (which both polls show is taking its vote disproportionately from Democrats) is hurting Franken in this last week.
At the House level, good news for a couple of western Dems, as both Jill Derby (NV-02) and Walt Minnick (ID-01) look good in new polls. And my vote for the most bizarre tracker ever goes to the University of New Hampshire. How does Carol Shea Porter go from a 13-point lead to a 2-point lead...in a single day??!!!??
AL-SEN--SurveyUSA: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) 65%, Vivian Davis Figures (D) 32%
CO-SEN--National Journal: Mark Udall (D) 51%, Bob Schaffer (R) 36%
ID-SEN--Harstad (D): Jim Risch (R) 45%, Larry LaRocco (D) 33%, Others 8%
ID-01--Harstad (D): Walt Minnick (D) 48%, Rep. Bill Sali (R) 41%
ID-02--Harstad (D): Rep. Mike Simpson (R) 66%, Debbie Holmes (D) 22%
IN-02--Research 2000: Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) 54%, Luke Puckett (R) 40%, Others 3%
KY-SEN--Rasmussen: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) 51%, Bruce Lunsford (D) 44%
KY-02--SurveyUSA: Brett Guthrie (R) 53%, David Boswell (D) 43%
MA-SEN--SurveyUSA: Sen. John Kerry (D) 58%, Jeff Beatty (R) 34%
MN-SEN--Mason Dixon: Sen. Norm Coleman (R) 42%, Al Franken (D) 36%, Dean Barkley (I) 12%
MO-06--SurveyUSA: Rep. Sam Graves (R) 54%, Kay Barnes (D) 36%
NC-SEN #1--Mason Dixon: Sen. Liddy Dole (R) 46%, Kay Hagan (R) 42%
NC-SEN #2--Rasmussen: Kay Hagan (D) 52%, Sen. Liddy Dole (R) 46%
NC-SEN #3--National Journal: Kay Hagan (D) 43%, Sen. Liddy Dole (R) 37%
NH-GOV--UNH: Gov. John Lynch (D) 71%, Joe Kenney (R) 15%
NH-SEN #1--UNH: Jeanne Shaheen (D) 48%, Sen. John Sununu (R) 40%
NH-SEN #2--P.O.S. (R): Jeanne Shaheen (D) 46%, Sen. John Sununu (R) 43%, Others 5%
NH-01--UNH: Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) 44%, Jeb Bradley (R) 42%
NH-02--UNH: Rep. Paul Hodes (D) 55%, Jennifer Horn (R) 21%
NJ-SEN #1--Research 2000: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) 56%, Dick Zimmer (R) 39%
NJ-SEN #2--Fairleigh Dickinson: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) 52%, Dick Zimmer (R) 32%
NJ-07--National Research (R): Leonard Lance (R) 40%, Linda Stender (D) 31%, Others 6%
NM-SEN--Rasmussen: Tom Udall (D) 56%, Steve Pearce (R) 41%
NV-02--Research 2000: Rep. Dean Heller (R) 47%, Jill Derby (D) 44%
OR-05--SurveyUSA: Kurt Schrader (D) 55%, Mike Erickson (R) 31%, Others 10%
PA-03--P.O.S. (R): Rep. Phil English (R) 47%, Kathy Dahlkemper (D) 45%
TX-SEN--U. of Texas: Sen. John Cornyn (R) 45%, Rick Noriega (D) 36%, Others 5%
As always, feel free to add new numbers in the comments section. See y'all tomorrow for the Halloween edition, where hopefully there will be more treats than tricks.
(Yes, I felt nauseous writing that...)