There's a lot to think about these days. I'm trying to stay safe from the impending Hurricane Sandy and my beloved San Francisco Giants are in the World Series! However, fear not, I still had time to pour over today's polls.
There seems to be a general consensus among the right-wingers on Twitter and elsewhere that this election is in the bag for Mitt Romney. The mainstream media has certainly picked up on this overconfidence. I guess they're looking at national averages that show Romney up by about 1 and concluding that they should be measuring drapes. It also helps that the polls that show Romney with his biggest leads nationally, like Rasmussen and Gallup, happen to be the polls that get the most attention.
This conservative crowing seems absolutely crazy to me. Today's polls confirmed that President Obama is holding very steady in the states that matter. I just don't see where Mitt Romney gets to 270 electoral votes. You don't have to believe me either. Nate Silver has Obama at 74% to win, and even InTrade still has him as a 60% favorite.
There was pretty much just noise among the national trackers today, though as Silver pointed out on Twitter, if you averaged the 8 daily trackers, Obama has a .2 lead, while Romney was up by that same margin yesterday. Moving to Obama today were Reuters-Ipsos (-1 to +1), ABC/WaPo (-3 to -1), and the RAND poll. Mitt got his 5 point lead back in the Gallup tracker, while Rasmussen (Romney +3) and IBD/TIPP (Obama +2) stayed the same.
State polls, again, offered a very encouraging picture. There were three Ohio polls today, all showing Obama leads of at least 2. The CNN/ORC poll showed Obama up 4 among likely voters and 7 among registered voters. Obama's lead in Ohio according to the RCP average is 2.3. With so many early votes banked, it will be especially hard for Mitt to make up this deficit. If he does not win Ohio, he would have to win Wisconsin, plus pretty much every other swing state. This is an incredibly tall task for him, and one that the mainstream political media (looking at you Politico!) doesn't seem to fully comprehend. Some of Obama's other positive state polls included a trio of Purple State surveys showing him up 2 in OH, 1 in CO and tied in Virginia. A Gravis Marketing Poll (a GOP-leaning firm) shows Obama up 4 in Iowa. These are all must-win states for Romney, and an Obama win in any of them pretty much shuts Mitt out of the White House.
Mitt did get a couple of decent state polls. A Sunshine State poll showed Romney up 5 in Florida (Rasmussen has the race at only one point!), and Gravis had Romney up 8 in North Carolina (though Civitas and PPP find the race to be a virtual tie there!).
The bottom line is that the battleground state map is getting more and more terrible for Romney, even if the political press won't recognize it. I'll also add that while there certainly is a decent chance for a popular vote/electoral vote split, I still don't see it happening. I lean towards the view that Obama probably leads by a point or so nationally, which is about what his lead would be if you averaged the polls and left out GOP-leaning Rasmussen and wacky Gallup.
Because today was an improvement over the status quo, I'll give it a 7.