What you might have missed over the weekend was a capsule case study in why it is hard right now to take daily tracking polls seriously. Gallup had their daily tracking poll for the approval rating for Barack Obama go from 46 percent to 51 percent and then back to 47 percent. On successive days.
On to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen): Romney d. Obama (47-45)
NEW HAMPSHIRE (American Research Group): Obama d. Romney (51-43)
UTAH(Dan Jones and Associates for Deseret News/KSL): Romney d. Obama (68-26)
MI-01 (Garin-Hart-Yang for the House Majority PAC): Rep. Dan Benishek (R) 40, Gary McDowell (D) 38A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
MO-SEN—R (American Viewpoint for Brunner): John Brunner 40, Todd Akin 20, Sarah Steelman 20
UT-SEN (Dan Jones and Associates for Deseret News/KSL): Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) 63, Scott Howell (D) 29; Dan Liljenquist (R) 48, Howell 34
UT-SEN—R (Dan Jones and Associates for Deseret News/KSL): Sen. Orrin Hatch 60, Dan Liljenquist 32
UT-01 (Dan Jones and Associates for Deseret News/KSL): Rep. Rob Bishop (R) 65, Ryan Combe (D) 22; Bishop 66, Donna McAleer (D) 22
UT-04 (Dan Jones and Associates for Deseret News/KSL): Rep. Jim Matheson (D) 53, Mia Love (R) 38
By and large today, the polls are all about Utah, as Dan Jones and Associates dumps a raft of data out of the Beehive State. A word of caution about those House polls, though: They are, it seems, subsets of the statewide samples. Ergo, the margin of error for these bad boys is extraordinarily high.
That said, Democrats have to be reasonably happy at where the Deseret/KSL poll puts the lone Democrat in the delegation, Rep. Jim Matheson. Not only is he over 50 percent, but he is also running pretty similar margins when paired with Mia Love, despite the fact that Love was a total Some Dude-ette the last time that Dan Jones and crew polled the district.
In that high-profile Senate primary, it simply looks like a nonstarter. As was the case with last week's BYU poll, all indications are that Orrin Hatch is going to cruise to a win by at least 20, and possibly over 30, points. He also looks, if this poll is any indicator, like he has no worries about November, either.
A couple of poll omissions here, that may be rectified as the week goes on: no data in the gubernatorial race (though Republican Gov. Gary Herbert is strongly favored in that race), nor is there any data from UT-02 (where a stronger-than-normal Democrat in the form of former state legislator Jay Seegmiller and a fractured GOP after the state convention create a potential, albeit extremely narrow, opening for the Democrats).
Speaking of omissions, am I the only one that is completely surprised by the fact that there was absolutely no primary polling out of New York, save for that really boring Republican Senate primary? We'll be flying blind in the Empire State tomorrow, even in that Senate primary, since every poll of that affair showed that "Undecided" was winning in an absolute laugher.
In other polling news:
- Volunteer State Democrats tapped into one of my real polling pet peeves today, with the news of a new poll out of TN-04 pitting freshman Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais paired with Democrat Eric Stewart. The release only gave an "informed ballot test" result between the two. While the descriptions in the "informed" trial seem pretty fair upon reading them, it is still not the same thing as a legitimate trial heat. I sure wish they had posted both, and can only speculate that said uninformed trial heat was comparably lousy news for Team Stewart. (The informed heat had the race close, but with a rather suspiciously low number of undecideds—just four percent!)
- The new poll out of Missouri's high-profile GOP Senate primary shows definitive movement towards John Brunner. Of course, it is his poll, so add your salt accordingly. When you see something like this, a good rule of thumb is to wait for confirmation. If true, it's pretty lousy news for incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, as she would have certainly benefitted from a three-candidate bludgeoning on the GOP side.
- That Michigan internal poll for the Democrats is one of those "mixed reviews" kind of data points. Democrats have to be heartened by the incumbent being at just 40 percent, and they also have to be happy that this G-H-Y poll shows Democrat Gary McDowell doing substantially better when paired with Benishek than he performed in the 2010 midterms. However, Benishek being ahead is actually marginally better for the incumbent Republican than the last poll we saw in this race (also a Democratic poll, but for a different client). That poll actually gave a narrow lead to McDowell.