So, is this the end of the holiday week polling lull, with data to flow like wine from this point forward? Or are lighter media budgets around the country equating to a much more sparse polling environment?
It would seem we are about to find out. For now, though, on to the numbers:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-45)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-45)
NATIONAL (TIPP for Investors Business Daily/Christian Science Monitor): Obama d. Romney (43-42)
CA-SEN (Field Poll): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) 51, Elizabeth Emken (R) 32A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
KY-06 (Public Opinion Strategies for Barr/NRCC): Rep. Ben Chandler (D) 47, Andy Barr (R) 42
It's a safe bet that we haven't seen a week with as little data to report as we have seen in this past week since the start of the year. Not counting the Gallup/Ras tracking polls, we have only seen about a dozen new polls since last weekend.
The question is whether this is just a quiet period, based on the midweek nature of the holiday (making polling before or after the Wednesday holiday problematic), or whether this is a semi-permanent lull in summer polling, as media outlets hoard their considerably more limited resources for the fall.
There would be some basis for assuming the latter. Polling ain't cheap, and until the convention season rolls along after the Olympic Games, there may not be much appetite for taking the temperature on electoral contests where very little "game changing" stuff may be going on.
Given the deluge of polling at the close, it might be hard to remember, but the same summer lull happened in 2008, when most media outlets only polled once a month until the conventions, when the polling volume became more frequent at the presidential level.
We'll see in the coming days. Downballot, meanwhile, I'd imagine that we'll still see a fair amount of campaign polling getting thrown around, as candidates try to start getting an early frame on the general election. While the standard grains of salt apply, what to watch for there, as we have seen thus far, is how many polls go completely unanswered by the opposition. Dueling polls may not tell us a lot, but if only one side is doing the squawking, that could be telling.
In other polling news ...
- Speaking of campaign polls, P.O.S. dropped one just today, on behalf of the NRCC and their guy in the Kentucky 6th, 2010 nominee Andy Barr. The poll analysis was a bit amusing, as it tried to make something substantive out of the fact that the race went from 49-42 in the winter to its present position (47-42). Chandler and Barr offered dueling polls in the past, so be on the lookout for a corresponding Democratic poll on behalf of the veteran incumbent, who barely beat Barr in an awful year for Democrats in 2010.
- The biggest polling news today, however, may have come from a poll that wasn't even released today. Earlier today, PPP tweeted out a potential banner headline for Tuesday out of Wisconsin: their new numbers out of the Badger State put businessman Eric Hovde ahead of former Gov. Tommy Thompson in the GOP Senate primary. Thompson had fared much better in trial heats against Democrat Tammy Baldwin than Hovde. Stay tuned.
- The only other poll released today was, on balance, a bit underwhelming for the Democrats. Dianne Feinstein is almost certainly not endangered in her bid for reelection, but her numbers when paired with Elizabeth Emken (who barely rises above the level of Some Dudette) are pretty meek. She takes 51 percent, while the little-known Emken is back at 32 percent. DiFi polled only a couple of points better than she scored in the open primary last month, and a bit below the 56.6 percent combined vote for Democrats. Emken, meanwhile, has also failed to consolidate the combined 39 percent of the vote that went to GOP candidates.