Daily Poll Watch: On eve of second debate, Obama still has edge in battleground states

The effects of tomorrow night’s presidential debate on the polls won’t likely become apparent until the end of the week, but as things stand now, President Obama holds a modest advantage in the so-called swing states.

Mark Blumenthal EXPLAINS:

A new national poll showing President Barack Obama with a slight edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney may give Democrats some cheer Monday morning, but its results largely confirm what other surveys have reported over the last week: Voter preferences are very close nationwide, with Obama retaining a narrow but persistent edge in key electoral vote battleground states.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News survey shows Obama leading Romney among likely voters by a 49 to 46 percent margin that ABC said fell “within the survey’s margin of error” and the Post described as a “virtual dead heat.”


The Obama battleground edge may be due to a heavier volume of television advertising aired in those states. An analysis by George Washington University political scientiest John Sides shows the number of ads run by the Democrats has slightly outpaced those run by the Republicans since the party conventions, although The Huffington Post reported last week that spending by Romney and his allies has increased greatly in recent weeks.

The Post/ABC poll indicates another area of tactical advantage for the Democrats: In swing states, voters were more likely to say they had been personally contacted, “by phone in person or online asking for your support,” by the Obama campaign (37 percent), than they were to say that had been personally contacted by the Romney campaign (27 percent).

As the ABC News analysis points out, support for both candidates has remained relatively constant with neither candidate exceeding 50 percent, which suggests a “get out the vote election,” in which motivation and turnout may decide the winner.

Meanwhile, polling analyst Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium SAYS:

Today, President Obama’s November re-elect probability is 84% – still a Russian-roulette situation for the Democrats…

To a Democrat, that’s a six-shooter with one shell labeled “R-outcome.” To a Republican, it’s loaded with five shells labeled “D-outcome.”



  1. Wow.

    According the latest Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU, Romney has his biggest lead yet, including 50/47 in swing states. Keep in mind this is after the VP debate.


    I thought after the weekend of the first Presidential debate Romney’s lead would have started fading by now, at least that’s what Pat and the liberals were touting. Fortunately, they are wrong. Mitt-mentum is still growing.

  2. Neftali: What you call Romney’s “biggest lead yet” is within the PPP survey’s margin of error. That margin is plus or minus 2.5 points for BOTH candidates, which makes any difference of less than five points relatively meaningless.

    As Nate Silver noted in a piece he posted late last night: “No one of the polls published on Monday really ought to fit the definition of an outlier. Some were slightly more favorable or slightly less so for the respective candidates, but in a way that is consistent with unavoidable statistical variation and the methodological differences between different polling firms.”

    Silver listed the 10 most recent national polls, five of which slightly favored Romney, and five of which slightly favored Obama. The average gave Obama an insignificant “lead” of 0.3 points, which is to say no lead at all.

  3. All in all a dramatic turn around for the Romney campaign in spite of the top secret 47% video.

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