Our favorite polling expert explains why Obama seems likely at this point to win re-election
Nate Silver, the best political numbers-cruncher in the business, says his current charts give President Obama “a three-in-four chance of winning the Electoral College on Nov. 6.”
Silver bases his intuition in part on these three factors:
1. Polls usually overrate the standing of the candidate who just held his convention.
2. Mitt Romney just held his convention. But he seems to have gotten a below-average bounce out of it. The national polls that have come out since the Republican National Convention have shown an almost exact tie in the race.
3. If the polls overrate Mr. Romney, and they show only a tie for him now, then he will eventually lose.
There’s more HERE:
On average, between 1968 and 2008, the challenging candidate led by 10 percentage points in polls conducted just after his convention. By comparison, the challenging candidate eventually lost the popular vote by an average of three points in these years. That means the post-convention polls overrated the challenger by an average of 13 points.
[T]he economic recovery is tepid enough that if there is some intervening event, such as in Europe, then some voters who were willing to give Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt may change their minds.
But that isn’t how you draw these things up. You don’t want your chances to come down to the residual chance of a polling error or an October surprise. You want to be ahead after your party convention — not just tied, something that even Walter F. Mondale had (very briefly) managed to do in 1984.
[I]f Mr. Obama gets a bounce that’s a bit better than modest — say, he leads in the national polls by in the neighborhood five or six points next week, as Mr. Bush did following his convention in 2004 — Mr. Romney’s position will start to look fairly grim.
It may be presumptuous, of course, to assume that Mr. Obama will get any bounce at all. And even a strong speech in Charlotte could seem futile if we get a poor jobs report on Friday. By this time next week, we could be talking about how Mr. Romney’s two-point bounce looks good compared with Mr. Obama’s zero-point bounce.
UPDATE: By the way, if you like the kind of serious numbers-crunching Nate Silver does, you’ll love the stuff published at THIS WEB SITE. These guys are all wearing green eyeshades.