Looking at the numbers, as has been the case for most of the week, you'd probably rather be the Democrats than the GOP. The lone exception might be in the House, where today's six-pack of polls are a pretty unrelenting bummer for the blue team. Aside from that, there is quite a bit to be pleased about.
On to the numbers:
NATIONAL (American Research Group): Obama 49, Romney 47DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Angus Reid): Obama 48, Romney 46
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama 47, Romney 47
NATIONAL (Ipsos-Reuters): Obama 48, Romney 42
NATIONAL (National Journal): Obama 50, Romney 43
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama 49, Romney 46
NATIONAL (Reason/Rupe): Obama 52, Romney 45; Obama 49, Romney 42, Johnson 6
ARIZONA (Purple Strategies): Romney 48, Obama 45
ARIZONA (YouGov): Romney 51, Obama 41
CALIFORNIA (YouGov): Obama 54, Romney 36
COLORADO (Purple Strategies): Obama 48, Romney 45
CONNECTICUT (YouGov): Obama 53, Romney 39
FLORIDA (Purple Strategies): Romney 48, Obama 47
GEORGIA (YouGov): Romney 50, Obama 44
ILLINOIS (YouGov): Obama 59, Romney 35
INDIANA (YouGov): Romney 50, Obama 44
MARYLAND (YouGov): Obama 58, Romney 36
MASSACHUSETTS (YouGov): Obama 56, Romney 37
MICHIGAN (Michigan State University): Obama 39, Romney 30
MINNESOTA (YouGov): Obama 50, Romney 41
MISSOURI (YouGov): Romney 49, Obama 43
NEW JERSEY (YouGov): Obama 53, Romney 39
NEW MEXICO (YouGov): Obama 53, Romney 41
NEW YORK (YouGov): Obama 58, Romney 34
NORTH CAROLINA (Purple Strategies): Obama 48, Romney 46
OHIO (Purple Strategies): Obama 48, Romney 44
PENNSYLVANIA (Rasmussen): Obama 51, Romney 39
SOUTH DAKOTA (Nielson Brothers): Romney 54, Obama 39
TENNESSEE (YouGov): Romney 49, Obama 42
TEXAS (YouGov): Romney 52, Obama 41
VIRGINIA (Purple Strategies): Obama 46, Romney 43
WASHINGTON (YouGov): Obama 53, Romney 39
AZ-SEN (YouGov): Jeff Flake (R) 43, Richard Carmona (D) 37A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
CA-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) 52, Elizabeth Emken (R) 34
CT-SEN (YouGov): Linda McMahon (R) 45, Chris Murphy (D) 40
FL-SEN (Mason Dixon): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 48, Connie Mack IV (R) 40
IN-SEN (YouGov): Richard Mourdock (R) 41, Joe Donnelly (D) 38
MD-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Ben Cardin (D) 50, Dan Bongino (R) 30
MA-SEN (Kimball Consulting--R): Sen. Scott Brown (R) 48, Elizabeth Warren (D) 47
MA-SEN (YouGov): Elizabeth Warren (D) 44, Sen. Scott Brown (R) 43
MN-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) 49, Kurt Bills (R) 34
MO-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 45, Todd Akin (R) 38
NJ-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Robert Menendez (D) 43, Joe Kyrillos (R) 29
NM-SEN (YouGov): Martin Heinrich (D) 50, Heather Wilson (R) 35
NY-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 52, Wendy Long (R) 25
TN-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Bob Corker (R) 49, Mark Clayton (D) 25
TX-SEN (YouGov): Ted Cruz (R) 50, Paul Sadler (D) 31
WA-SEN (YouGov): Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) 51, Michael Baumgartner (R) 37
WI-SEN (Rasmussen): Tammy Baldwin (D) 49, Tommy Thompson (R) 46
IN-GOV (YouGov): Mike Pence (R) 48, John Gregg (D) 33
MO-GOV (YouGov): Gov. Jay Nixon (D) 51, Dave Spence (R) 33
MT-GOV (Mason Dixon): Steve Bullock (D) 44, Rick Hill (R) 43
WA-GOV (YouGov): Jay Inslee (D) 47, Rob McKenna (R) 43
WI-SEN (PPP): Tammy Baldwin (D) 49, Tommy Thompson (R) 45
CA-30 (SurveyUSA): Brad Sherman (D) 45, Howard Berman (D) 32
FL-26 (Dario Moreno for the Rivera campaign): Rep. David Rivera (R) 44, Joe Garcia (D) 38
NV-04 (SurveyUSA): Danny Tarkanian (R) 45, Steven Horsford (D) 42
NY-18 (PPP for the AFL-CIO): Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) 43, Sean Patrick Mahoney (D) 43
NY-19 (Siena College): Rep. Chris Gibson (R) 52, Julian Schreibman (D) 36
SD-AL (Nielson Brothers): Rep. Kristi Noem (R) 51, Matt Varilek (D) 42
It would seem appropriate, given that they were solely responsible for half of the data collected today, to say a few words about YouGov. The firm is a British firm, that moved into the American market in 2007 when they bought out Polimetrix, a California-based firm that had done a lot of internet-based polling in 2006 in an arrangement with Stanford University.
Their polling is based on internet samples, a method which some find problematic (some aggregators of polling, indeed, refuse to utilize their data). It is a methodology that I also confess to qualms about, because when you have a sample that is essentially volunteering to participate, and a smaller universe from which to draw from, the potential pitfalls are pretty self-evident.
However, the true measure is performance. Some internet-based polling has a track record of missing the fairways. Indeed, the only poll that is specifically barred from inclusion in the Wrap is an internet-based survey: polls from JZ Analytics (once called "Zogby Interactive"). John Zogby is an established veteran who has some impressive hits on his resumé, but his foray into internet polling was pretty awful. 2006 was a particular low water mark, whether it was the insistence that Democrat Bill Ritter was enmeshed in a coin flip for the Colorado governor's race (he won by 17), or that Herb Kohl was being hard-pressed for re-election (he wound up winning by 38). The lack of movement in the polls also made clear that Zogby was trying to make do with what were very small collections of voters in each state.
YouGov, however, has earned at least a cycle's worth of benefit of the doubt. Their 2010 track record was more than reasonable. Indeed, of the 18 pollsters that offered up a substantive number of polls, YouGov came in fourth place in terms of their accuracy (defined as the percentage of races where they came within three percent of the final margin).
On balance, their huge set of numbers (they released polls in roughly half of the states in the Union over the past two days) look pretty good for President Obama, and less good for Democratic Senate prospects. Democrats are going to be nonplussed about a McMahon lead in Connecticut, just like they had to be about the same outfit showing Tommy Thompson ahead in Wisconsin yesterday. Also, the internet panels seemed loath to jump decisively on the incumbent bandwagon. Even the most optimistic Republican, for example, knows that Kirsten Gillibrand is going to win well over the 52 percent she is polling with this YouGov panel.
The biggest virtue of this YouGov series of surveys is we get our first look at some states that have been hugely underpolled. It confirms, for example, that Mitt Romney is way underperforming John McCain in Tennessee. It also confirms, as if any confirmation was needed, that the GOP is essentially dormant in Maryland (the largest state in the Union that had yet to see any statewide polling to date in the 2010 cycle).
Something tells me this won't be the last time we see YouGov come around. Now, with a baseline in nearly two dozen states, we can see how the races shift and turn in the final six weeks.
In other polling news...
- Friday was something of a buffet of suck for the Democrats at the House level. Most disappointing, without a doubt, is the continuing underperformance of Steven Horsford in the newly-drawn Democratic-leaning NV-04. To this point, all we have seen has been polling by GOP groups, but the lack of contradictory evidence from Dem sources was, in itself, rather telling. Now, SurveyUSA finds something similar in terms of toplines, with partisan numbers that at least seem on the fairway. However, our own community member, atdnext, finds plenty to fault in the new SUSA nums. The firm, to be sure, has produced some severely whacked House numbers, both in this cycle and the last. But the lack of Democratic counter-polling here, and we have seen absolutely freaking zero on that score, is very worrisome. If Horsford wants to change the narrative, and he has better numbers in his own polling, he best let that crap drop. Stat.
- Reason obviously carries no water for President Obama, given their ideological frame of reference. But I have to give them credit, their polling to date has shown consistently that they have no interest in putting their thumb on the scale to produce a favored outcome for their worldview. Not only do they put Obama well ahead of Mitt Romney in their latest national poll, their multicandidate variation of the poll did not produce outsized numbers for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. With Johnson in the mix, he gets six percent. That's higher than most pollsters have had it, but not cartoonishly so. Plus, the margin stays at seven points, hinting that Johnson is stealing evenly from both Obama and Romney. With National Journal also seeing a seven-point race, the week ends with, as it has been for much of the cycle, Gallup and Rasmussen being the thin thread tethering Republicans to their happy place. They were even forsaken today by one of their favored pollsters of the cycle. Though they poll infrequently, Angus Reid (an international firm) was bullish on Romney, giving him a four-point edge the last time they polled. They have also marked a six-point shift to Obama since the conventions, which is about par for the course. Even ARG (!), which has been also quite pro-Romney this cycle, shifted to Obama this go-round.
- Purple Strategies offers up their monthly take on the "battlegrounds", as well, and their numbers were...well...kind of peculiar. Most Democrats, I'd wager, would find it hard to believe that Barack Obama is doing better in North Carolina than he is in Florida. Even more curious: they have Arizona as a three-point race. Arizona being in play would be a pretty big surprise, since most pollsters of recent vintage (including PPP) have given Mitt Romney a fairly comfortable edge. By and large, the trendlines looked very good for Obama with this particular outfit, whose numbers to date have been more pro-Romney than the average.