There’s no point in putting it gently: Mitt Romney had one of his worst polling days of the year on Wednesday.
It began with a series of polls
from The New York Times, CBS News and Quinnipiac University, released early Wednesday morning, which gave President Obama leads of between 9 and 11 points in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Later in the day, Mr. Romney got polls showing unfavorable numbers for him in Colorado and Iowa.
Unlike many recent days, when Mr. Obama’s national polls were slightly less euphoric than his swing state surveys, Wednesday’s national polls seemed to support the notion that Mr. Obama has a clear lead in the race. The Gallup national tracking poll gave Mr. Obama a six-point lead among registered voters, close to his high mark on the year in that survey. The online tracking poll conducted by Ipsos gave him a six-point lead among likely voters. Another online tracking poll, from the RAND Corporation, put Mr. Obama’s lead at roughly seven and a half percentage points, his largest of the year in that poll. And a national poll for Bloomberg produced by the pollster J. Ann Selzer, who has a strong track record, put Mr. Obama six points ahead.
The exception was the Rasmussen Reports tracking poll, which gave Mitt Romney a two-point lead among likely voters. (This was in the version of the poll that included voters who leaned toward a candidate, which is the one that FiveThirtyEight uses for all surveys.)
What to think of the Rasmussen poll? Their surveys usually have a Republican lean, but it seems to have gotten stronger in the last few weeks. It has also been stronger in some years than others. Rasmussen got reasonably good results in years like 2006 and 2008 when their polls were close to the consensus. However, their polls were the least accurate of the major polling firms
in 2010, when they had an especially strong Republican house-effect.
The same was true in 2000,
when they had a three- or four-point statistical bias toward Republican candidates. Read more…