If nothing else, the pair of daily tracking polls on the presidential election between the incumbent, Barack Obama, and his challenger Mitt Romney have the same leader. Curiously, it is not the guy that has led in 90-plus percent of the non-tracking polls over the last two months, but what the hey.
A casual observer of politics, I assume, would expect that not only the outcome of the two tracking polls would be similar, but also that the trajectory of the two tracking polls would be somewhat in line. However, the electoral addicts that read this Wrap (and others like it) already know, that isn't always the case.
Having said that, it is a little smirkworthy that one the first day of legitimate comparison between the Gallup and Rasmussen trackers, they go in precisely the opposite direction from one another.
More on that in a bit. First, the raw numbers:
GOP (PRESIDENTIAL) PRIMARY POLLING:
NATIONAL (Pew): Romney 42, Santorum 21, Gingrich 13, Paul 13PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (48-43)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Pew Research): Obama d. Romney (49-45)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)
FLORIDA (PPP): Obama d. Romney (50-45)
MD-06 (Garin-Hart-Yang for Delaney): John Delaney (D) 48, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) 39A few thoughts, as always, await you after the jump.
TN-03--R (North Star Opinion Research for Mayfield): Scottie Mayfield 34, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann 25, Weston Wamp 25
WI-SD-13 (PPP for Daily Kos): Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R) 54, Lori Compas (D) 40
WI-SD-21 (PPP for Daily Kos): Sen. Van Wangaard (R) 48, John Lehman (D) 46
WI-SD-23 (PPP for Daily Kos): Sen. Terry Moulton (R) 51, Kristin Dexter (D) 41
WI-SD-29 (PPP for Daily Kos): Jerry Petrowski (R) 51, Donna Seidel (D) 37
- First, a moment of silent reflection: with the Pew poll today (which, we assume, included a primary trial heat because it started in the field before Santorum bowed out), we may well have seen our last poll of the Republican presidential primary sweepstakes. Unless ABC, NBC, or CBS want to throw one together. Y'know, for old time's sake...
- The two tracking polls released today go on opposite vectors: the House of Ras sees a two-point bump in Barack Obama's direction (and a total of four points since the weekend), while the new Gallup daily tracking poll went three points to the good for Mitt Romney (from a nominal two-point edge on Monday to a more established five-point race today).
- Notably, however, once again the daily trackers proved to be far more bullish on the Republican contender than the standard polls of the day. It is worth noting, however, that Pew's four-point margin was substantially less than their offering in March, which put the president up over Mitt Romney by double digits. I think, at this point, we have a wide enough array of new polls to suggest that Mitt Romney is getting a lift from the closure of the primary process. It is pretty tough to find a poll where Barack Obama does substantially better now than he did a month ago. There are no shortage of polls where the opposite is the case. The question now: is this an ephemeral bounce, because everyone (however reluctantly) embraces a winner? Or is this a legitimate consolidation of Republicans and conservative Independents around the presumptive nominee? Time will tell.
- Downballot, it is "embattled incumbent" Tuesday, courtesy of two internal House polls. The Maryland poll comes as little surprise, and definitely has the ring of truth. Even Republicans conceded privately that redistricting had left longtime GOP veteran Rep. Roscoe Bartlett extraordinarily vulnerable, especially given the rust that has accumulated with repping a safe district for term-after-term. Tennessee, whose primary doesn't come around until late summer, is another matter entirely. While it was well known that freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann had two legitimate opponents in the form of dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield and young "entrepreneur" (and, more importantly, congressional progeny) Weston Wamp, an incumbent polling at 25 percent in his district is awfully shocking.
- One place where the incumbents are embattled, but perhaps as not as some Democrats would like, is in Wisconsin, where the GOP presently has double-digit advantages in three of the four state senate districts hosting recall elections this June. The lone exception: veteran Sen. Van Wangaard, who is clinging to a two-point edge in his recall election. Remember, of course, that last summer's recalls left the GOP with a one-seat majority in the balance of power. Thus, any losses in June will bring a Democratic majority to that chamber.