[Posted by WLS]
3 Day Gallup Tracking Poll:
7/27 — Obama +9
7/28 — Obama +8
7/29 — Obama +6
7/30 — Obama +4
7/31 — Obama +1
UPDATED: 8/1 — 44-44
Math is hard, but since this is based on a 3 day rolling “average”, the fact that he was up + 6 two days ago when the polling period was Sat-Sun-Mon, but is up only +1 today when the polling period was Mon-Tues-Wed, means there was a 5 point shift in the average when Tues-Wed replaced Sat-Sun.
I don’t know what that means, but it sounds bad.
The Gallup non-tracking poll from Monday showing McCain +4 no longer looks like an outlier.
Its interesting to consider the analysis from Gallup’s pollster than came with that non-tracking poll showing McCain +4:
This difference between registered and likely voters indicates that now McCain voters are disproportionately represented among the estimate of those most likely to vote if the election were held today. This difference (in which Republicans gain among likely voters compared to registered voters) appears for the first time in USA Today/Gallup polls this year. In earlier 2008 polls, more Democrats than Republicans were engaged in the campaign and considered likely voters. This is generally a rare occurrence given that Republicans have historically been more likely to qualify as likely voters under Gallup’s model (a fact that has been borne out in the real world as Republicans are able to win elections despite facing deficits in party identification or pre-election standing among all national adults).
The similarity between the likely voter and registered voter numbers in previous polls this year may be because there has been atypical interest in the election and enthusiasm among Democrats — likely due to the exciting nomination campaign between Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The current shift in likely voters could be a result of a short-term energizing of the GOP base as a reaction to the Obama foreign trip or some other cause. (Data from the current poll do suggest that Republicans are overwhelmingly likely to feel that the news media are too positive about Obama and too negative about McCain.) The degree to which this current shift toward the GOP candidate among likely voters remains in place remains to be seen. In general, most poll consumers agree that the likely voter model is most predictive in the final poll before an election; analysis based on likely voter models this early in the campaign should be considered to be a snapshot in time and suggestive of possible turnout scenarios and their implications.
The registered voter number, which would be equivalent to all eligible voters turning out, generally produces more stable estimates. This is the number that Gallup’s Daily tracking poll has reported to date.
The likely voter model gives a sense of what voter preferences might look like if those most likely to vote — based on their current interest in the election along with their past voting behavior — voted. The likely voter group measures hypothetical turnout “if the election were held today” with the understanding that conditions will change between now and the election, and knowing that well-designed and executed opinion polls can only measure the current state of affairs and not project many months into the future.
Update: Quinnipiac has new polling out today on Ohio, Florida, and Penn.
Florida: Obama 46-44 (June – Obama 47-43, down 2)
Ohio: Obama 46-44 (June – Obama 48-42, down 4)
Penn: Obama 49-42 (June – Obama 52-40, down 5)
I’ve always thought the Quinnipiac poll was a Dem leaning poll, sort of like the Field Poll in Calif. So, the fact that they show the margins in these battleground states shrinking at the same time the national tracking polls show Obama losing nearly all his margin over McCain, suggests that Obama’s campaign since he became the presumptive nominee has gone the wrong direction. He’s had two bounces — following Hillary’s capituation, and following his trip abroad. Both disappeared in short order. He’s like the sinlge guy in a bar late at night who always goes home alone — he just can’t close the deal.