Obama versus Romney on Tuesday! That will be far more important than the conventions. Or the first debate, which President Obama sort of lost, in a game-changing moment that we are now prepared to completely forget because it’s all about the next debate.Some sobering polling data from Nate Silver:
Which will be so far more important than the vice-presidential debate that we can hardly bear to mention them in the same paragraph.
Although that thing on Thursday was pretty cool. Paul Ryan’s eyes! Joe Biden’s teeth! Paul Ryan’s water intake! Can that man hydrate, or what?
Mitt Romney continues to surge in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, and Friday may have featured his best set of polls all year.Still, Obama built a big enough lead to be even at this point. And yeah, he needs a good next debate. And yeah, there's been a flood of crappy pollsters. But as of now, the polls need to start moving in the other direction for Obama to remain the favorite. A week ago Friday was probably Romney's strongest polling day post-debate, and that's gone from most (but not all polls). So, from today on, what we see is where we are.
When Mitt Romney was trailing in public polls before the first presidential debate — particularly in swing states — his campaign manager was dismissive, contending that, according to his camp’s superior internal data, the race was “inside the margin of error.” After the debate, when Romney grabbed the advantage in some public surveys, it was the Obama campaign arguing that “polls don’t matter.”Graham T. Allison Jr. and Shai Feldman:
Well, polls do matter. And it matters how they’re conducted and scrutinized. When trying to make sense of the numbers, here are a few myths to keep in mind.
For three years Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, seemed to be united in urging an early military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. But last week that alliance collapsed, with Mr. Netanyahu accusing Mr. Barak of having conspired with the Obama administration, in talks behind his back.Less people wanting war? Amazing. Byzantine Israeli politics? Not so amazing.
Early voting -- both mail and in-person -- is on pace to exceed 2008 levels, when about 30 percent of all votes nationally were cast prior to Election Day. The 2008 levels may be exceeded even further in states such as Iowa and Ohio, where early voting has been brisk. As a corollary, with no collapse in early voting, there is no indication so far that overall turnout, both early and Election Day, will be substantially lower than 2008.Keep on being skeptical of likely voter screens that assume otherwise.
You’ll hear over and over again in the coming weeks that the national vote doesn’t matter in presidential elections, that all that really matters is what’s happening in the states, especially the swing states. Technically, that’s true.Bernstein advises following HuffPost's pollster.com or RCP or fivethirty-eight, like we do. And for good measure, there's Predictwise, a nice summary of the betting markets. Romney's gaining in all of them, closing in on 40% chance to win. Obama still leads in all of them, but needs to turn the polls around.
But in practice, the only people who need to pay attention to state polls, even at this late date, would be those who make decisions about where to deploy campaign resources and those who plan to enter a pool that requires predictions of individual states. If you want to know who will win the election, however, you’re still better off focusing on a good average of national polls.
It’s pretty simple. If either candidate wins the national vote by three percentage points or more, it’s virtually certain he will also win the electoral college.
Whatever Joe Biden was drinking Thursday night, Barack Obama ought to order a case of it.
Biden took on Paul Ryan in the one and only vice presidential debate and did what Obama had failed to do last week in his debate with Mitt Romney: Biden not only won over the audience, but got under his opponent’s skin.
Here’s some breaking news: the kind of people who choose to watch a vice-presidential debate instead of baseball or football or a cooking show are not sensitive souls who curl up into a ball at the first sign of disagreement between politicians. People who choose to watch political conflict can deal with it. Those who can’t—or just aren’t interested in the first place—are watching something else. Research by political scientists Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson shows this.