There are things about Franklin and Marshall polling that make me raise an eyebrow (they are perpetually the clubhouse leaders in percentage of respondents undecided), but their merit today is in the fact that they have polled their home state of Pennsylvania repeatedly in this cycle. Which, of course, gives us some help in making an apples-to-apples comparison.
And that apples-to-apples comparison is both encouraging for team Obama, and a bit sobering. The bad news first: unlike other pollsters, the F&M polls do not catch a "February surge" for the president. His leads against Santorum and Romney are actually incrementally smaller than they were last month. The good news, though: his vote share is creeping up, and more importantly, he is remaining roughly at his 2008 margins in a state that the GOP really thought would be a coin flip in 2012.
The other "good news" for Obama comes, hard as it might be to believe, from every GOPer's favorite pollster: the House of Ras. There has been a dramatic shift in their national tracking poll over the last few days. Whereas Obama led by 2 points against either Romney or Santorum just a couple of days ago, the leads are now 7-10 points. What's more: Rasmussen gives Virginia to Obama by among the widest margins we have seen from any pollster of recent vintage.
Add to that comfortable leads in both California and Washington (though both of those, admittedly, are to be expected), and you have to wonder if team Obama doesn't secretly wish the election were being held today. Add to this data set an interesting data point from SurveyUSA, which says that voters share President Obama's view of the world dramatically more than they do either Romney (49-35) or Santorum (52-37), and today's polling menu is a buffet of fail for the red team.
Of course, they'd rather have one of these days in February than November, but they have to be wondering how they can change that fundamental calculus.
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