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Finally, a consistent theme from a day's worth of polling. From Nevada to Iowa, and from the national tracking polls to the generic old national polls, the theme was the same: For now, this thing looks damned tight.

Not only is this true at the top of the ballot, but also downballot, as well, where a GOP incumbent barely leads his Democratic rival, and where a new set of House polls (check beneath the fold for the details) hint that any sense that the GOP is a lock to keep their House majority might be in error.

It's not going to take much of a tailwind to make this election cycle very, very good (or, alternately, very, very bad).

On to the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-44)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)

COLORADO (NBC News/Marist): Obama d. Romney (46-45)

IOWA (NBC News/Marist): Obama tied with Romney (44-44)

NEVADA (NBC News/Marist): Obama d. Romney (48-46)

NEW YORK (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (56-31)

OHIO (Rasmussen): Romney d. Obama (46-44)

WASHINGTON (Strategies 360): Obama d. Romney (51-40)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
CA-PROP 28-TERM LIMITS (Field Poll): Support 50, Oppose 28

CA-PROP 29-TOBACCO TAX (Field Poll): Support 50, Oppose 42

MO-GOV (PPP): Gov. Jay Nixon (D) 45, Dave Spence (R) 34; Nixon 46, Bill Randles (R) 32

MO-GOV--R (PPP): Dave Spence 32, Bill Randles 11, Fred Sauer 4, John Weiler 1

NV-SEN (NBC News/Marist): Sen. Dean Heller (R) 46, Shelley Berkley (D) 44

WI-GOV (Garin-Hart-Yang for Barrett): Gov. Scott Walker (R) 50, Tom Barrett (D) 48

A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...

  • Midday, the campaign of Democratic challenger Tom Barrett dropped the latest in a series of Democratic-sponsored polls showing the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall elections far closer than public polling would seem to suggest. The latest campaign poll had Scott Walker up 50-48 on Barrett. This stood in fairly stark contrast to yesterday's Marquette Law poll, which had Walker leading by seven points. In a recurring theme, any critiques about "biased" campaign-sponsored polls have to be tempered a bit by the knowledge that the GOP is still sitting on their own data, raising questions about whether their data shows something similar to what the Democrats show. At a minimum, it seems unlikely that their numbers are as good, or better, than some of the public numbers we have seen.
  • At the presidential level, both national tracking polls, to say nothing of the trio of NBC/Marist polls and the lone contribution from the House of Ras, all paint a very consistent picture. With not one of the polls showing a lead of more than three points for either candidate, it is clear that both incumbent and challenger are unable, at this moment, to claim a clear advantage. President Obama still seems to have a bit of a built-in edge in the electoral college (as Markos noted on Wednesday), but even these battleground state polls hint at tighter races in three of those states (Colorado, Iowa and Nevada).
  • Downballot, meanwhile, Aaron Blake noted that two polls out this week looking at House battlegrounds put the GOP in a potentially perilous position. While they did not seem to do direct candidate trial heats, they did look at incumbent favorabilities. Both polls (one a Democracy Corps effort, the other a Garin-Hart-Yang effort) showed the GOP incumbents with far more middling job approval or favorability numbers than their Democratic counterparts. For example, in the 28 GOP-held districts that Democracy Corps deemed the "most vulnerable" seats for the Republicans to hold, the Republican incumbents had a 37/36 job approval spread. By way of contrast, the two dozen Democratic incumbents were cruising with a 50/26 job approval. This is not necessarily surprising: The 2010 elections cleared out all of the low hanging Democratic fruit, and it is hard to imagine too many Democratic incumbents that will be in great peril (open seats and incumbent-on-incumbent redistricting battles, however, are another matter).
  • The new poll out today from the respected California Field Poll seems to do a whale of a job of underscoring just how hard it is to measure support when a proposition or initiative is on the ballot. In the past week, the lead for Proposition 29 (the $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax) has ranged, depending on the pollster, from 8-28 points. Just yesterday, an LA Times-USC poll put the spread on that initiative at 61/33. Today, Field says the figure is closer to 50/42. The tobacco industry has tried to bury the tax under a deluge of negative advertising to the tune of over $40 million. We'll know in five days if their largesse was money well spent.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is it possible that PPP is leaning D this cycle? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Aunt Pat

    Almost all of their state Presidential polls show support for Obama that is greater than the other non-Rasmussen state polls.  The phenomenon appears to have been consistent since the beginning of this year.  I know in 2010 they actually leaned Republican slightly, but I wonder if they have tried to correct for that and perhaps have overcompensated.    

    •  No (15+ / 0-)

      PPP are a Romney outlier in WI.

      Same margin as Ras in NV.

      Supported by the Washington Post in VA.

      Supported by Ras in MT.

      Supported by Marist, Purple and Fox in OH.

      Supported by UNH in NH.

      Supported by Civitas and SurveyUSA in NC.

      Supported by Ras in PA.

      Supported by Magellan in AZ.

      Supported somewhat by Ras in MO.

      Florida is all over the place.

      Possible Obama outlier in MI, CO and IA but then how do we know they are wrong there and the others are right?

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

      by conspiracy on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:33:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's look at your data... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Odysseus

        I'll ignore WI for now since the recall is screwing with the enthusiasm levels.

        Notice I said non-Ras...

        VA: PPP is tied for highest Obama with Wash Post at 51%

        Notice I said non-Ras...

        OH: PPP is highest at 50% with Martist = 48%, Purple = 49%, Fox = 45%

        NH: PPP is highest at 53% with UNH at 51%

        NC: PPP is highest at 48% with Civitas at 45% and SurveyUSA 44%

        Notice I said non-Ras...

        AZ: Tied for highest with Magellan at 43%

        Notice I said non-Ras...

        FL: PPP is highest at 50%

        The above examples do not even mention those polls that are not relatively close.  Throw MI, CO, and IA into the mix, and my original observation is entirely accurate.  True, some of these polls are within the margin of error, but to be above in nearly all instances is more than just coincidence.

        It's impossible to know for sure; PPP may be right and everybody else wrong but probability would point to the opposite being true.  

        •  I would say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          PPP has probably been the most accurate for the past few years. I think we'll probably find out for sure when more state polling starts rolling out but for now ill place my bets on PPP.

        •  I'm talking margins not share (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          And Rasmussen is a more than valid comparison to make. Indeed, particularly so since they have a clear Republican bias. I don't think your original observation is correct at all.

          "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

          by conspiracy on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 04:51:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not to sound like a broken record but... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, kalmoth

      ....all pre-Labor Day never mind pre-summer statewide polling is flaky almost by definition.

      As I've said before for the time being the national polls actually interest me more than the statewide polls because in the end unless you've got a race literally within the margin of error the electoral college almost always ends up aligning with the popular vote.

      You also have blips that leave us scratching our heads in retrospect.  To name two examples.  West Virginia in 2004 and North Dakota in 2008.

      The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

      by Taget on Thu May 31, 2012 at 06:26:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:20:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Consistency (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Delilah, MichaelNY

    The Marist polls are consistent with a very small Romney national lead.

    The Ohio and Washington polls are consistent with a very small Obama national lead.

    The New York poll and a new SurveyUSA poll of California are consistent with a larger Obama national lead.

    "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

    by conspiracy on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:36:56 PM PDT

  •  Of the Marist polls... (0+ / 0-)

    ...two of them look pretty good, but the Nevada one seems totally and completely off, to me.  It's not that close; it just isn't.

  •  well... (4+ / 0-)
    The 2010 elections cleared out all of the low hanging Democratic fruit, and it is hard to imagine too many Democratic incumbents that will be in great peril (open seats and incumbent-on-incumbent redistricting battles, however, are another matter)
    There are some Democrats who got far less friendly districts, particularly in North Carolina... Mike McIntyre would not be in any trouble in his old district, for instance.

    But I agree, any Democrat who survived 2010 is either sitting in an uber-safe district or has worked hard enough to hold their district in the past and will continue to do so.

    Charlie Cook has 10 Democratic-held seats as tossups, but four are open seats, one is an incumbent-on-incumbent matchup, and three were considerably altered by redistricting.  Only Kathy Hochul and David Cicilline are non-redistricting-related tossups (and Cicilline's problems are entirely of his own making.)

    (There are also two redistricting-related Lean R seats where an incumbent is running, GA-12 and NC-08.)

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Thu May 31, 2012 at 06:25:18 PM PDT

  •  Pretty big movement in Gallup for one day (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Delilah, itskevin, Supavash

    tied to a +3 Obama.

  •  Ras doing its standard 3-5% GOP mulligan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drdemocrat, Supavash, kalmoth

    In case you didn't know that Scott Rasmussen is a GOP pollster.

    Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:03:52 PM PDT

  •  what the hell happened in NV? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Delilah

    I thought that was strongly leaning Dem? WTF?

  •  How the hell have Nevada and Colorado both swung (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, Delilah, Supavash

    fifteen points to the right since 2008? What the hell is going on?

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:24:03 PM PDT

  •  CA-Term Limits Prop: This is to extend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    term limits to 14 years, right?

    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

    by KingofSpades on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:38:11 PM PDT

    •  no, cut from 14 to 12 (4+ / 0-)

      currently a legiscritter can spend 14 years in office: 3 2-year terms in Assembly, 2 4-year terms in Senate. Prop 28 permits them to spend 12 years however they choose, i.e., could spend 6 2-year terms in Assembly.  The theory is one of good govt: an assemblycritter can decide to stay put rather than almost immediately into 2d term start scheming for Senate.

      It's generally supported by Dems and opposed by Rs. I'll probably follow party lines.

      Panelist, Netroots Nation 2012, "Coal and the Grassroots Fight for Environmental Justice." @RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:49:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sort of thankful (7+ / 0-)

        in Oregon our term limits were struck down by the state courts.  Our state senate president was first elected to the lege in the 1980s.

        Lewis & Clark Law class of 2015

        by James Allen on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:55:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. (6+ / 0-)

          Term limits throw out the good with the bad.  We wouldn't have gotten a Sam Rayburn or a Henry Clay if we had term limits for Congress.

          "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

          by KingofSpades on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:01:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It always depends on the area (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, Odysseus

            Michigan has term limits and I know people have proposed changing the term limits so it is 14 years in any combination. This change just makes so much sense.

            In some areas of Michigan produce weak candidates (and legislators) because they just don't have candidates that are ready to be legislators. By the time they learn the ropes, they are already term limited out. However in places like Ann Arbor the term limits have helped a lot. Ann Arbor produces extremely talented (and super progressive) State Representatives and State Senators every time and will produce more for the foreseeable future. These talented candidates would never get a chance without term limits.

            M, 22, School: MI-12(new) (Old MI-15), Home: NY-18 (new) (Old NY-19)

            by slacks on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 12:41:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Speaking from Experience (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, Odysseus

            Term limits are bad all around. We've tried them here in Colorado, and they've done the opposite of what they were promised to do. There is actually less diversity in gender and ethnicity than prior to their imposition, more political careerism, and more partisanship. I'm sure we'll try to get rid of them sooner or later.

  •  How can this country be so stupid? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steveningen, Delilah, Supavash, TDDVandy

    To be so close to voting in another Republican with the same policies that got us into this mess a short time ago?

    "You don't have the right facts!"~My Tea Party Neighbor

    by Therapy on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:56:14 PM PDT

    •  Same people (7+ / 0-)


      who thought this was a grand idea.

      Score Card: Marriages won by me, 1. Marriages destroyed by me, 0.

      by Steven Payne on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:26:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (6+ / 0-)

      I think that every single ad put out by the Obama campaign from now till November should link Romney to Bush.  People may be angry at Obama, but that's nothing compared to their anger at Bush.  As long as this is framed as an ideological clash between Obama and a hypothetical Romney, it may come out as a draw.  But if it is framed as Obama vs. Romney/Bush, I think Obama has a much better chance of pulling it off.

      •  Romney (0+ / 0-)

        He sure is doing a good job of making it easier for the President. Virtually his entire foreign policy team is from the Bush administration, his policies are even more extreme towards taxation and "limited government" and the man is out there touting plans to "fire people to get them back to work" by cutting hundreds of thousands from the federal workforce.

        Nevertheless, most factors favor Obama. So long as he wins some/most of the small states (New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada) and at least one of the bigguns (Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida), he'll have the nomination. For once, Dems have the advantage in the electoral college, as Obama essentially needs only capture 23 electoral votes to win, where Romney needs to get 79 more from states the President won in 2008 while still holding Indiana and Missouri.

  •  NBC polls are just terrible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB

    And given the crap job numbers we can expect all summer, and half the voting public's idiocy, I fear the worst.  And oh yeah -- the media, and also Europe.  I have faith but it sure isn't strong, and I don't even know why I have any at this point.

    •  Relax (0+ / 0-)

      The thing that keeps me sane is the fact that demographics are destiny. All we need is the turnout and we will win. If Latinos turn out in Neva and Colorado, it doesn't matter what happens in Ohio, Fl, etc. We still have to win Iowa and  New Hampshire but I think Obama has built up his reputation there.

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Supavash

        New Hampshire is Romney territory hands down, but my sources tell me that the population there is depressed by their shitty candidate, and the Ron Paulites that compose that crucial over-the-mark portion of the GOP in the state don't seem to have any desire to participate in the election now that Romney will be on the ticket. Iowa I think is much more likely to stay with Obama, as they've been polling (at least according to PPP) over 50% most of the year for the President, much like Colorado and Nevada.

        I think the election will hinge either on what happens in New Hampshire or Virginia. Given the President's advantage in the youth-oriented west, all he needs to win it are those states he won handily in 08 and one of the big ones he had less luck in, and Virginia seems to be his best chance given Ohio's rustiness, Florida's voter purges, and North Carolina's demographics.

  •  Marist CO poll over sampled conservatives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, kalmoth

    What is telling though is that even with a poll that over sampled conservatives Obama still leads.  I would read Marist as the worst case scenario.

    •  Also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash

      There's no senatorial race in 2012. Given the GOP goals (capture the Presidency, hold the house, kill Obama), I'd say they are at a disadvantage. There's no state-wide money to get voters going against anything but Obama, and there will only be two close races in CO this year. Additionally, a lot of Coffman's old territory, which used to have the highest voter turnout of any district, went into Lamborn's 5th CD. Despite what happens in that primary, the republican will be the winner and there will be less motivation to turn out to vote for anything but a Presidency which Obama seems sure to win.

  •  Meanwhile, back in Oregon... (2+ / 0-)

    "I don't give a crap" is running neck & neck with "Why should I care?"

    Over the holiday weekend, the poor schmuck who's the head of the Oregon GOP was on a local version of "Meet the Press," repeating over & over about how "the GOP is back!  The GOP is back!"

    Back to sticking its head up its ass, maybe.  Of our five congressional districts, the Second District is as GOP as Wyoming.  But the GOPpers can't field even a credible candidate to run in the other four districts.

    Want to be the GOP candidate for Oregon Attorney General?  Yours for the asking--no one filed.  For Secretary of State?  Just Some Dude on the GOP side.....I can't imagine the next time a GOPper will seriously consider running statewide.....

    If you're wondering how many campaign appearances Romney and the President have planned for Oregon....Stop wondering....All the more reason why Oregon was recently added to The Daily Kos list of states in the "Ain't Nothing to See Here, Pal....." category...

    •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

      Polls have Oregon running closer than expected, so I think we'll see President Obama make a stop there sometime soon. As for Romney...unless you guys have an oil field or a coal mine, don't bet on it. The basterd visited Colorado twice since the primary, both times to two tiny communities of less than 10,000 people to kiss the feet of oil/coal barons and attack things our former Governor Ritter did, not Obama. Hell, even the mayor of one of the most conservative towns in the state had a lot to say against Romney's visit.

  •  obama v rmoney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Seeds

    Politics aint beanbag as they say.. this will be unfortunately closer than i andmany others would like..but the left pulls this shit.. "i'm not getting my way" so i won't vote and then the thugs come in... of course this time.. once they get in.. they aren't leaving.. people don't seem to understand we might be on the berge of Germany in the 30's with the brown shirts and a one-party state .. "tyranny of the minority" where the majority looks the other way while horrible stuff happens.. its really scary. i think if the Repubs take it all .. we could be in a for a very long dark age this time.. will make bush look like a saint.. man people do not remember history at al!! GOTV!!!!!

    •  ive been saying this ever since 2010 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      disappointment syndrome has to be conquered this time or we only have ourselves to blame.

      the forces arrayed against this President and a progressive agenda are immense. our side lulled itself into complacency with Obama's win in 2008, and very quickly forgot how important it is to continue to show the turnout and the momentum we had that year in each election. we lost control of the  agenda as a result and have been paying the price ever since. imagine where both we and Obama would be now if we still had the house. we could have passed the legislation the economy needs and while making appropriate progress on the budget deficit. he'd be cruising to reelection now, and we might just have gotten the realignment election we so desperately need.

      I realize its frustrating. its hard to turn out in mid-terms when guys like Lieberman are doing everything they can to make you hate pulling the Democratic lever, and I am sure that douche bags like him would have still been working against the country's best interest for the sake of their own standing with the power players. but we  must put  up with it anyway.

      holding the white house and Senate this year is the minimum that must be accomplished just to keep the status quo. fail to keep the Sentate, and I wouldn't put it past the  GOP to impeach Obama just for getting reelected. lose everything and we will lose what's left of the New Deal and everything you've taken for granted in our politics for the last 50 years.

  •  CA Field poll: Obama by 16 (0+ / 0-)

    Down from 20 in February.  But undecided grew by 7%?

    http://media.sacbee.com/...

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 02:49:35 AM PDT

  •  I beg to differ... (0+ / 0-)
    For now, this thing looks damned tight.
    One, the usefulness of national polls is...
    Two, the predictive power of Rasmussen polls in particular is...

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