As has often been the case, I cite the maxim I have often cited on polls like this one: If you have one thing, and everyone else has something else, chances are that it isn't everyone else that has something wrong.
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (46-44)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)
NATIONAL (YouGov): Obama d. Romney (45-44)
ARIZONA (Rasmussen): Romney d. Obama (54-41)
FLORIDA (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (45-41)
MASSACHUSETTS (PPP): Obama d. Romney (55-39)
OHIO (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (47-38)
PENNSYLVANIA (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (45-39)
VIRGINIA (Old Dominion): Obama d. Romney (49-42)
FL-SEN (Quinnipiac): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 41, Connie Mack IV (R) 40A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
MI-03—D (G.Q.R. for Pestka): Steven Pestka 39, Trevor Thomas 15
NC-GOV (Rasmussen): Pat McCrory (R) 49, Walter Dalton (D) 35
OH-SEN (PPP): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 46, Josh Mandel (R) 39
OH-SEN (Quinnipiac): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 50, Josh Mandel (R) 34
PA-SEN (Quinnipiac): Sen. Bob Casey (D) 49, Tom Smith (R) 32
When Quinnipiac's battleground polling launched this morning, my electoral junkie-dominated Twitter feed damned near exploded. The general consensus, as it was with the Bloomberg poll last week, was that the poll just looked and felt a little too good to be true for team Obama.
And, much like how We Ask America's Virginia presidential poll looked even more suspect in light of their Senate numbers (which had George Allen up huge), the Q poll in the Buckeye State is similarly hamstrung by its accompanying Senate numbers. Quinnipiac had Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown up by sixteen points over Josh Mandel. Virtually no one, throughout the 2011-2012 cycle, have given Brown that kind of an edge over Mandel.
That said, a look under the hood of the sample shows it to be slightly off, but not dramatically off. Breaking down the partisan numbers, it looks like the sample is around D+8. That's not insanely optimistic: The 2008 exit polls were also D+8 (39/31/30). It is way more optimistic for Democrats than the 2010 exits, which were R+1. 2006 split the difference at D+3.
In other words: Sure, the Quinnipiac sample might tilt Democratic. But it sure as hell doesn't look like it tilts nine points in the Democratic direction, unless you think that 2012 will be a repeat of 2010. And only the most irrationally exuberant Republicans actually believe that. Most folks suspect that the 2012 electorate will be somewhere between the '08 and '10 electorates. If that is the case, one has to assume that the president has a lead, albeit a modest one, in Ohio.
In other polling news ...
- The other two polls by Quinnipiac look like they are right on the fairway. It is hard to call Obama +4 in Florida as overly optimistic for Democrats, given that the same sample has the Democratic incumbent senator (Bill Nelson) up by just a single point. And Obama +6 in Pennsylvania seems to be right in the range of where most Keystone State polling has been as of late. If Obama sweeps these states, by the way, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to fathom a path to 270 for Mitt Romney.
- Speaking of how those Ohio Senate numbers in the Q poll render the presidential numbers a bit more suspect, the same rule applies in North Carolina. Yesterday, the House of Ras had Mitt Romney up by a few points over the president. However, today's gubernatorial numbers really call that into question. It has been a very long time (probably shortly after the Perdue retirement) since we have seen a poll showing Republican Pat McCrory up by 14 points over Democrat Walter Dalton. Most polls have been in the 5-9 point range, as of late. PPP polls here often, and their most recent survey there had it at 11 points in their most pessimistic Democratic poll of the the year.
- Speaking of Rasmussen, it looks like we need a tiebreaker. PPP (polling for Project New America) had the presidential race in Arizona at a mere two-point margin. But now the House of Ras has the margin at 13 points. I'm guessing PPP is closer to the pin, though I would not be shocked if the actual margin right now is almost exactly at the midpoint of these two polls, in the neighborhood of 7-8 points. But we need someone to actually head into the field there to find out, I suppose.