Polling Update: Week of September 22 – 28

Between September 22nd and 28th, there were 33 polls released for 21 states, surveying 26,056 people. The big polling states this week were Florida with five polls, Pennsylvania with four polls, and Ohio with three polls. Maryland was also polled for the first time this year.

Changes this week include Ohio moving from “too close to call” to “weak Obama,” and North Carolina moving from lean Romney to lean Obama within the “too close to call” category. Out of 21 states, Obama improved his position in 13, Romney improved his position in 7, and then there is Maryland with their first poll.

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Two-Week Average for September 11 – 24: Obama 49.2%, Romney 44.7% [Updated]

NOTE: This total has been adjusted from it’s original publication due to the addition of ARG’s national poll from September 17th-20th after this post’s original publication. Numbers in the post have been adjusted accordingly.

Obama has his largest lead in the two-week average since immediately preceding Romney’s pick of Ryan as his running mate. Additionally, Obama has his highest level of support ever in the average by 0.4% while Romney’s level of support is back to where it was from April through mid-July:

Obama: 49.2% (+0.5%)
Romney: 44.7% (-1.3%)

Margin: O+4.5% (+1.8%)

This average included 14 national polls:

  • Fox News from September 9-11 (Obama 48, Romney 43)
  • CBS News/NYT from September 8-12 (Obama 49, Romney 46)
  • Democracy Corp from September 8-12 (Obama 50, Romney 45)
  • NBC News/Wall Street Journal from September 12-16 (Obama 50, Romney 45)
  • Pew Research from September 12-16 (Obama 51, Romney 43)
  • Monmouth/SurveyUSA from September 13-16 (Obama 48, Romney 45)
  • Associated Press/GfK from September 13-17 (Obama 47, Romney 46)
  • Reason-Rupe from September 13-17 (Obama 52, Romney 45)
  • UConn/Hartford Courant from September 11-18 (Obama 46, Romney 43)
  • AllState/National Journal from September 15-19 (Obama 50, Romney 43)
  • Politoco/GWU/Battleground from September 16-20 (Obama 50, Romney 47)
  • American Research Group from September 17-20 (Obama 49, Romney 47)
  • PPP/SEIU/Daily Kos from September 20-23* (Obama 50, Romney 45)
  • Bloomberg  from September 21-24 (Obama 49, Romney 43)

*PPP/SEIU/Daily Kos released two polls during this two-week period. I am using the most recent poll released.
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Polling Update: Week of September 15th

Between September 15th and 21st, there were 47 polls released for 21 states, surveying 36,403 people. Most notably this week, both Virginia and Wisconsin were polled six times, and Kentucky was polled for the first time in 2012.

Out of 20 states (since Kentucky was new), 13 moved in Obama’s favor while six moved in Romney’s favor, while one didn’t change. Out of the ten swings states (including Michigan but not Pennsylvania), Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin all moved in Obama’s direction while Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire moved in Romney’s direction. Florida stayed even at O+2.5%.

Connecticut switched from “weak Obama” to “strong Obama,” New Hampshire fell from “weak Obama” to “Too Close to Call,” and Wisconsin moved from “Too Close to Call” to “Weak Obama” this week.

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September 14th: State of the Race

Welcome to the September 14th state of the race. In this edition we will compare what the race for president looks like compared to two weeks ago, at the start of the month when we were between the RNC and DNC conventions.

As before, I’ll evaluate the race using five different metrics:

  • Current state of the race with TCtC states
  • Current state of the race with leaners
  • Obama EV total in states where he has 50% in the average
  • Obama EV total in states where he has 47% in the average
  • Electoral Vote total assuming a 2:1 undecided swing to Romney

State of the Race: Electoral Count including Too Close to Call

Obama: 241 (+20)
Romney: 191 (NC)
TCtC: 106 (-20)

Obama gains back Michigan and New Hampshire in his column from 2 weeks ago, pushing his total back up to 241, roughly where it was 4 weeks ago or so. Romney is still holding steady to his 191 number as Missouri has stayed pretty solidly in his column for the past couple of months.

Getting back to 241 is important for Obama because it opens up several avenues for winning for him. For example, winning Florida alone would get him to 270. Winning Ohio and Virginia gets him to 272. Winning Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa (and losing Florida, Ohio, AND Virginia) still gets him to 272. Putting Michigan back into Obama’s column makes the math much easier for Obama.

State of the Race: Electoral Count including leaners

Obama: 332 (NC)
Romney: 206 (NC)

This number hasn’t changed since my first report at the start of August. It shows a notable lack of progress by the Romney campaign in even taking a lead in any of the states he needs to win.

State of the Race: Electoral Count assuming Obama needs 50% in the average

Romney: 353 (-5)
Obama: 185 (+5)

This metric is and will always be the most pessimistic for Obama. It essentially assumes that if Obama isn’t at 50% in a state, he will lose that state. Historical patterns show that this just isn’t very realistic, but it is a metric nonetheless.

Even though this metric hasn’t changed a lot, it has narrowed in each of the State of the Race posts so far. Obama started with 169 EVs in states where he averages 50%. That’s now up to 185.

State of the Race: Electoral Count assuming Obama needs 47% in the average and leads

Obama: 322 (+6)
Romney: 216 (-6)

This is, I think, a better although not perfect metric than the previous one. For the second straight time, Obama gains here as well. In fact, out of all the states Obama leads, there are now only two in which he doesn’t also get at least 48% in the average: Iowa and New Hampshire, worth a whopping 10 EVs.

State of the Race: Electoral Count assuming undecideds break 2-to-1 toward Romney

Obama: 317 (+33)
Romney: 221 (-33)

I still feel this scenario may be the most realistic, though we’ll see about that on election day. Obama does the best he has done out of the three State of the Race reports so far by far. In fact, Obama is in a situation now where he wins every state he leads in, except for Iowa and Colorado, even if you give Romney 2/3 of the remaining unallocated votes.

And in a way, this could be worse for Romney. This metric makes some admittedly flawed assumptions including 1) everyone who doesn’t support a candidate right now will decide to vote and 2) no one will support any 3rd party candidates. Both of those are pretty bad assumptions, but it makes the math easier.

This could affect a state like Colorado, which Romney wins by 0.4% in this scenario. Just setting aside 1% of the unallocated voters for, say, a third party candidate would flip the state back to Obama. It could also make other borderline states like Florida, Wisconsin, and Virginia more secure for Obama.

Two-Week Average for August 28 – September 10: Obama 48.7%, Romney 46%

Obama has re-expanded his lead over Mitt Romney in the latest 2-week average of polls. The lead is somewhat comparable to what it was from April through mid-July, but Obama’s level of support has returned to it’s immediate pre-Ryan announcement levels:

Obama: 48.7% (+1.6%)
Romney: 46% (+0.4%)

Margin: O+2.7% (+1.2%)

This average included 7 national polls:

  • American Research Group from September 4-6 (Romney 49, Obama 46)
  • IBD/CSM/TIPP from September 4-9 (Obama 46, Romney 44)
  • ABC News/Washington Post from September 7-9 (Obama 49, Romney 48)
  • CNN/Opinion Research from September 7-9 (Obama 52, Romney 46)*
  • PPP/Daily Kos (D) from September 7-9 (Obama 50, Romney 44)
  • Esquire/Yahoo from September 7-10 (Obama 50, Romney 46)
  • Reuters/Ipsos from September 7-10 (Obama 48, Romney 45)

*CNN released two polls during this cycle. Whenever pollsters do that, I will include the most recently released poll in the average
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