You've heard the old expression if you don't like the weather then hold on and it will change? Well, this could be said in the polling field as well. Despite the lack of extensive polls that have been done recently we do have ample information to conclude that we have gone through a stabilizing point in this election cycle. The popular vote polls as of a week ago had two outliers from opposite sides...Gallup showing Romney by 7 and IBD/TIPP showing Obama by 6. Now the Gallup poll has retreated to Romney by 3 and IBD/TIPP now shows Obama by 3. Despite the three polls from Ohio my formula remains basically the same, as it now shows Obama by 1.9 rather then 1.8. Nevada is still in the same classification and confidence level. Now let us consider what this means for the race as a whole?
1.) Despite several media talking heads insisting Obama would receive a bounce from debate number 2, he has not. Despite some anticipating some swings after this last debate...preliminary evidence does not show this at all. In many ways the race has been fairly stable for the past week.
2.) Every time we think it is safe to conclude that Romney's momentum had ended...it shows some traces of life. Maybe it will work this way again as I once again think it is safe to conclude that Romney's momentum has stopped.
3.) If either candidate starts even a slight, yet consistent momentum then they could very well be the next President of the United States! Will this news of the leaked emails that shows an administration cover-up do it? Will Obama get a slight bounce from the third debate and turn it into steady momentum? Any little thing has the potential of deciding the election.
Are Pennsylvania and Michigan In Play?
In two words...Probably Not! They are still classified as safe for Obama, because there is no evidence to the contrary. I will say that Michigan is very tough to formulate, due to most of the polls being from un-reputable firms that have shown a lot of outliers, sometimes for both candidates.
The new democratic poll showing a tie in Michigan should be treated with great skepticisnm. Here is what I know about the poll. First, they have shown very good numbers for Romney throughout the entire election. In fact almost every single one of their polls have been outliers with little to no other evidence supporting a race even remotely as close as they indicate. At one point they had Romney up by 4. I also know that the creator of the poll is one outspoken man that goes around to professional projection sites to justify his findings and make sure everyone knows he stands behind it. While I am glad he stands behind his work I find it odd that he has the time to go all over the Internet bragging on his poll. However, they are also the first poll taken there for quite a while and are showing a three point bump for Romney compared to their previous findings. If other polls began to show similar numbers then it could change the classification in a hurry since half of the polls up there are being adjusted to the median of the average. My best advice for those excited or worried: Don't be! I would love some nation wide firms to do more polls up there as several of the local polls up there have been less then trustworthy, making my job rather difficult. EPIC-MRA has shown extreme outlier numbers for both candidates and others like this Baydoun/Foster poll and Mitchell Research has been very right leaning in their findings.
Pennsylvania has been basically the same place it has been for a while. A week or so ago Susquehanna did a poll showing Romney by 4 there, but it failed to meet the criteria set by Real Clear Politics for inclusion. As many of you know I will only include polls that meet their criteria.
In short...both of these states are showing Obama up by exactly 5 points according to our sideaprojections. This is still over a point away from being included in the leaning column for Obama.
A Popular Vote Poll With a Great Track Record
The ABC News/Washington Post poll has had great success for several elections now. The good news for poll watchers is that they are now doing what looks to be a daily tracking poll. I also find their findings to be much more reasonable then some of the others. They are currently showing Romney by 1.
New Projections Coming By Noon Tomorrow
Unless we have a lot of morning polls tomorrow then do not expect a lot of changes in the numbers. The biggest movement so far has been in New Hampshire.