And, if you put stock into them, they tell you that the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the ACA had minimal impact on the state of play in the presidential race. Put more specifically, it might have helped the president slightly in one poll, and hurt him slightly, according to the other.
Like I said, a minimal impact, at best. But that might be expected during a holiday week where most folks (except for y'all, and bless you for that) are not focused on the electoral sweepstakes just four months into the future.
On to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (48-44)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (PPP for Daily Kos/SEIU): Obama d. Romney (48-45)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-44)
FLORIDA (We Ask America—R): Obama d. Romney (46-45)
NORTH CAROLINA (SurveyUSA for Civitas): Romney d. Obama (50-45)
HI-SEN—D (Benenson Strategy Group for Hirono): Mazie Hirono 53, Ed Case 38A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
OH-16 (Normington Petts for SEIU/House Majority PAC): Rep. Betty Sutton (D) 41, Rep. Jim Renacci (R) 38
At this point, we are getting close to the tipping point where we can start to draw conclusions about the political/electoral impact of the Supreme Court HCR decision. The short answer, at least at this point, appears to be "not much."
At least, that appears to be the case as it relates to the topline numbers. Our own Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll had the presidential race at Obama 48, Romney 45. Which is precisely where it was prior to the decision. Rasmussen, perhaps predictably, actually has Mitt Romney in a position that is a point or two better than he was at this time last week, while Gallup has the president a few points better than he was at this point last week. So, if we are putting stock into these daily tracking polls (warts and all), one would have to call them a wash.
And our two new state polls today also look like a bit of a wash. SurveyUSA (which, while polling on behalf of the conservative Civitas group, is not by definition a GOP-affiliated pollster) has the president doing a tiny bit worse than most polling has shown in North Carolina (even Rasmussen had it at three points here last week). However, a GOP pollster (We Ask America) also has the president leading by a point in Florida. While this is more in line with those recent Quinnipiac polls, seeing a GOP pollster with an Obama lead in the Sunshine State has to be a pleasant surprise for Democrats.
In sum, however, it looks like this presidential race has drifted into an early summer plateau. Perhaps the president has an edge of a few points, but he is certainly not staked to a dramatic edge, nor does it appear that his ACA victory in court is giving him any kind of palpable bounce.
However (and our own State of the Nation poll became the second poll to bear this out), if there is a trend developing it might be in the changing levels of intensity between the parties. As our own David Nir noted earlier today, the percentage of Democrats who self-identified as "very excited" about the election is now measurably higher than the number of Republicans who identified as such (58 percent to 51 percent). That is a fairly substantial shift from last week, when those intensity numbers were basically reversed (62 percent of GOP voters versus 54 percent of Democrats). CNN found a similar split in their poll yesterday. If that is true, it might call into question some of the assumptions being made in likely voter screens like Rasmussen's, which is assuming more Republicans in the electorate in November than Democrats (something which, I point out again, has not happened in a presidential election in a generation or more).
In other polling news ...
- A hearty "welcome aboard" to our first Featured Writer here at Daily Kos Elections: dreaminonempty. There is a shared love for polling data there which makes him a must-read, in my opinion. Indeed, you can check out the latest offering from him right here.
- Mazie Hirono's campaign team dropped a slightly dusty poll, well in advance of their August 11th primary, which showed that the fundamentals of her race against former Rep. Ed Case appear to have changed little. The last Hirono poll we got wind of (which was late 2011) had her up by 18 points. This one gave her a lead of 15 points. If Case is really making up three points every nine months, he should pull into the lead sometime in about 2016. Of course, it has to be noted that other polls in the race have this primary considerably closer, including a Merriman River poll last month which had Case and Hirono deadlocked at 46.
- When the GOP gerrymander in Ohio was drawn up, the assumption was that the newly created 16th district, which pitted incumbents Betty Sutton (D) and Jim Renacci (R) together, would favor the Republican. However, we now have the second poll out of that district showing either a deadlocked race, or one that very narrowly favors the Democrat. That first poll (a January PPP poll) was not answered by Renacci or his allies in the GOP. We'll wait and see if this second one gets an answer sometime after the holiday.