Daily Poll Watch: Another argument that Romney’s so-called momentum is non-existent
Yesterday, I told you HERE that polling analysts Sam Wang and Nate Silver are convinced that any upward momentum enjoyed by Mitt Romney in the wake of the Denver debate ended a couple of weeks ago.
And now Robert Wright, senior editor of The Atlantic, also ARGUES that Barack Obama is ahead:
Though the national polls on balance give Romney a fraction-of-a-point lead, Obama seems to be, as a practical matter, in the lead, for two reasons:
 Obama’s numbers in swing states are running ahead of his numbers nationally. When the national polls were moving in Romney’s direction, this gap may have been partly due to the fact that, because swing states polls were being done less often than national polls, swing state polls were lagging indicators. But when, as now, national polls are flat, and swing state polls are being conducted more and more often, that ceases to be a plausible explanation for the difference.
 The polls, especially in swing states, may underpredict Obama’s election day numbers. These polls count only the responses of “likely voters”–a subset of the “registered voters” the pollsters interview. Obama tends to do better with the latter than the former. And some people think that, because Obama’s “ground game” is better than Romney’s, more Obama voters whom pollsters put in the “registered but not likely” category will wind up voting.
These two factors explain why, though Romney is slightly ahead in national “likely voter” polls, Obama is a clear favorite in the betting markets. As I write this, Intrade gives him a 62 percent chance of winning.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium gets a little SNARKY with pundit John Dickerson today for buying into the Romney momentum meme:
I am curious about what momentum could possibly mean. I think pundits are trying to capture the science-y mojo of Newton’s First Law, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object with this tendency has “momentum.” If so, they might mean that when opinion is moving in one direction, it will keep moving that way. And Dickerson reports seeing a high level of energy at Romney rallies.
However, that energy does not imply that Romney’s support is growing. His supporters could be enthusiastic but stable in number. I note that even that is not true, as evidenced by the recent EV [Electoral Vote] history…
Today, the Popular Vote Meta-Margin is Obama +1.8%. His November 6th re-elect probability is 90%. To the extent that I anticipate change, it is in the direction of President Obama.
Wang’s EV projection, which is updated four times a day, says at this writing that an election held today would give Obama 299 electoral votes and Romney 239.