A rather strange day of data, the kind that sent those who are predisposed to panic and exultation over every individual data point into a roller-coaster of emotions. Every release that reinforced the positive was followed by one that raised a potential negative. It was that kind of a day.
In all, we get (again) no national polls, just the "big five" tracking polls as well as the pair of quasi tracking polls. Most of the individual race data came in-house via the DKos/Research 2000 series of polls, but we did get numbers from outside, and they were a mixed bag, as well. In all, there were new polls from 26 individual races.
Strangely, it was an "up" day on the big five tracking polls today (albeit fractionally) for the Democrats. Barack Obama's lead went from an average edge of 6.8% on Thursday to an average of 7.0% today.
That said, it was a rather sobering day, given some insights into the one-day samples on two of those polls. Of course, the R2K/DKos tracker gave us the first mini-blow of the day, with a one day sample that showed notable movement to McCain (O+10 on Wednesday down to O+6 on Thursday). That came on the heels of the revelation from Zogby that while his numbers only moved fractionally (remaining, when rounded, at a five point Obama lead), the one-day number for Thursday was a few points closer than previous days (3.8 points).
Yes...yes...high margins of error...statistical noise. Still, the one-two punch that polls looked CLOSER after the debates was a bit of a blow, especially for those of us who thought that the 3rd presidential debate might blow the race open, at the last.
Rasmussen held steady (50-46). Worth noting, Nate Silver over at 538 thinks that Obama actually had a very good single night of polling last night, based on the internals on the debate poll (he estimates it at 9-10 points).
Then, in a bit of a relief, we got SOME positive movement in Obama's direction, courtesy of Diageo/Hotline. In their tracker, Obama went from an eight-point edge out to ten points (50-40). Gallup gained a point among registered voters, but held steady with the Likely Voter II sample that I have elected to use (51-45).
The quasi-trackers were mixed, with IBD/TIPP giving Obama a two-point bump (up to a 46-41 lead), while GWU/Battleground continued to tighten, now down to four points.
Research 2000: Obama 52%, McCain 42%
Hotline/Diageo: Obama 50%, McCain 40%
Gallup: Obama 51%, McCain 45%
Zogby: Obama 49%, McCain 44%
Rasmussen: Obama 50%, McCain 46%
NATIONAL AND QUASI-TRACKING POLLS
IBD/TIPP: Obama 46%, McCain 41%
GWU/Battleground: Obama 49%, McCain 45%
On balance, the day was a good one for Senator Obama. Rasmussen gives him his biggest leads to date in a few critical red states (Missouri, Colorado, and Nevada). And that California poll looks good, even if the actual winner out here is really not in doubt.
There is some cause for a touch of trepidation here, as well. Two polls that included yesterday in their sample gave disappointing results: SUSA's foray into Florida (the first lead ANYONE has had for McCain in Florida in three weeks) and Muhlenberg's tracker in Pennsylvania (yes, it is still 14 points. But that does represent a two-point swing).
Now, worth noting: both Colorado and Nevada's Ras polling was based on yesterday's polling, as well.
All in all, there are new numbers in twelve states. Momentum (this poll, compared to the Pollster.com trend estimate) is in Obama's corner in nine states, while McCain beats the spread in three of them.
CALIFORNIA--SurveyUSA: Obama 59%, McCain 35%, Others 3% (Obama)
COLORADO--Rasmussen: Obama 52%, McCain 45% (Obama)
FLORIDA #1--Research 2000: Obama 49%, McCain 45% (McCain)
FLORIDA #2--SurveyUSA: McCain 49%, Obama 47%, Others 3%
MISSISSIPPI--Research 2000: McCain 50%, Obama 40%, Others 3% (McCain)
MISSOURI--Rasmussen: Obama 52%, McCain 46% (Obama)
NEVADA #1--Magellan Research: Obama 47%, McCain 44% (Obama)
NEVADA #2--Rasmussen: Obama 50%, McCain 45%
NORTH DAKOTA--Research 2000: Obama 45%, McCain 45%, Others 3% (Obama)
OREGON--Research 2000: Obama 53%, McCain 38%, Others 4% (Obama)
PENNSYLVANIA--Muhlenberg: Obama 53%, McCain 39%, Others 2% (McCain)
TENNESSEE--Ayers McHenry (R): McCain 54%, Obama 39% (Obama)
TEXAS--Research 2000: McCain 52%, Obama 40%, Others 4% (Obama)
WYOMING--Research 2000: McCain 58%, Obama 35%, Others 4% (Obama)
Florida gives us both of the "double-take" polls today. The GOP releases an internal out of FL-16, showing that Tim Mahoney turned a 25-30 point lead into a 25-30 point deficit in a week. Gosh, I wonder what HE did.
Over in FL-24, however, a pretty respected Dem pollster (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner) shows Democrat Suzanne Kosmas thrashing GOP incumbent Tom Feeney. Now, since we can assume that Feeney didn't ALSO pay off a mistress this week, we have to assume that something else is at play.
In other downballot news, a public poll gives Jerry McNerney a double-digit edge in the California 11th, while a pair of Rasmussen polls give Democrats Jay Nixon (MO-GOV) and Mark Udall (CO-SEN) pretty comfortable leads.
CA-11--SurveyUSA: Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) 52%, Dean Andal (R) 41%
CO-SEN--Rasmussen: Mark Udall (D) 51%, Bob Schaffer (R) 44%
FL-16--Tarrance (R): Tom Rooney (R) 55%, Rep. Tim Mahoney (D) 29%
FL-24--GQR (D): Suzanne Kosmas (D) 58%, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) 35%
MO-GOV--Rasmussen: Jay Nixon (D) 57%, Kenny Hulshof (R) 38%
MS-SEN--Research 2000: Sen. Roger Wicker (R) 47%, Ronnie Musgrove (D) 46%
OR-SEN--Research 2000: Jeff Merkley (D) 47%, Sen. Gordon Smith (R) 41%, Others 6%
TX-SEN--Research 2000: Sen. John Cornyn (R) 50%, Rick Noriega (D) 44%
WI-08--P.O.S. (R): Rep. Steve Kagen (D) 46%, John Gard (R) 44%
WY-SEN "A"--Research 2000: Sen. John Barrasso (R) 57%, Nick Carter (D) 36%
WY-SEN "B"--Research 2000: Sen. Michael Enzi (R) 61%, Chris Rothfuss (D) 34%
WY-AL--Research 2000: Gary Trauner (D) 44%, Cynthia Lummis (R) 43%
I know Kos is getting Alaska released later today, but tonight is a football night for me, so I will not be able to update. I will add those races to tomorrow's edition of FTP.
Have a good weekend, all.....