Daily Poll Watch: You may not have noticed, but Romney’s momentum ended two weeks today
As I’ve noted here previously, polling analyst Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium bases his Electoral College projections exclusively on state polls rather than national surveys — and his formula produced a perfectly accurate result four years ago.
New York Times columnist David Brooks, a man of moderately conservative views, apparently is unfamiliar with Wang’s methodology and consequently is taken in by prevailing media memes based at least in part on national polls.
Brooks WROTE the other day that his latest reading of the polls leads him to conclude:
[I]f the election were held today (which it won’t be), then President Obama would be a bit more likely to win. At the same time, there seems to be a whiff of momentum toward Mitt Romney.
In turn, Wang has some fun HERE trying to disabuse Brooks of such notions:
Let us dissect this.
1. President Obama would be a bit more likely to win. This is false – he’s a lot more likely to win. Look at the Princeton Election Consortium’s EV [Electoral Vote] histogram, which tabulates all 2.3 quadrillion possible combinations of states to give a clear snapshot of the race.
In a race today, President Obama would win with about 90% probability. The true probability is even higher, since the Meta-Analysis does not correct for individual pollster errors. We could – but the political blowback from unskewing polls is too large.
2. There seems to be a whiff of momentum toward Mitt Romney. Ah, yes…Ro-mentum! Bobo has taken the bait. He is probably looking at other aggregators, where for various reasons…the real trends are harder to see…
Ro-mentum ended around October 11th, the date of the VP Biden-Ryan debate and reversed around October 16th, Debate #2. Now the median EV expectation is at a plateau around Obama 293 EV, Romney 245 EV.
Wang goes on to concede that things could change a little over the next 12 days and that Romney could do better than Obama among currently undecided voters. But he’s not betting the proverbial farm on it.
Wang also warns against reading too much into a new Time magazine poll that shows Obama leading by five percentage points in Ohio.
Meanwhile, analyst Nate Silver, whose methods are different from Wang’s, also SAYS today that Romney’s momentum ended “in the week or two after the Denver debate” of Oct. 3.
Silver puts Obama’s chances of re-election at about 71 percent.