October 27, 2012 AnalysisPolls included:
R+3 - Rasmussen Daily Track
R+5 - Gallup
O+2.3 - IBD/Tipp
R+1 - ABC/WaPo
R+2 - Battleground
Even - NBC/WSJ
R+3 - Monmouth
O+3 - Zogby
O+2 - CBS
R+2 - AP/GfK
R+0.87% - Current RCP Average
O+0.63% - Average using the 2008 turnout model
R+2.12% - Average using the D+3 turnout model
R+4.35% - Average using the 2010 turnout model
R+4.39% - Average using the 2004 turnout model
R+6.13% - Average using the Rasmussen Party ID turnout model
There was very little movement in the turnout averages yesterday, with all of the averages moving a miniscule 1/100th of a percent. Romney retains his lead in all turnout models that are likely to occur on November 6th.
There are some odd things going on that make me question what is really happening though. The ABC/WaPo tracking poll is showing Romney ahead by 1. However, the D/R/I on the poll is only D+4 at 34/30/32. They are also reporting Independents favoring Romney by an incredible 20 points. It seems strange that Romney would only lead by 1, even with a D+4 sample, when he is drawing that level of support from non-partisans. The only way that is possible is if a lot of respondants are saying they are Republicans voting for Obama, or they are reporting the 20 point lead on a much smaller subsample. Their wording of the statement tends to make me think the latter. They say "true independents favor Romney by 20 points". My thought is that the 32% sample is made up of a lot of "Democrat leaning Independents". But I don' know, they don't give a break down in the internals.
Ramussen has a similar problem. He is finding Independents favoring Romney by 17 points, but only showing Romney up 3. There was a rumor floating yesterday that you can only get to his results with a D+6 sample, but I was never able to find the source of the rumor.
Finally Gallup posted an analysis of the 2012 electorate. Their headline was bizarrely titled "2012 electorate very similar to 2008", but when you actually look at the partisan split in the results you see a shift from a 54-42 lead by Democrats to a 49-46 lead by Republicans (with leaners). This is a 15 point shift in party identification, and matches the monthly Rasmussen Party ID poll that is showing a 3 month average of R+2.6. Rasmussen does not factor this information into his daily tracking poll. Even without leaners, Gallup is finding an 11 point shift in hard partisan identification toward the Republicans.
Three polls. Three sets of data that make you scratch your head, because things aren't adding up. The trends in the underlying information are pointing to much stronger Romney support than we are seeing. What if my Rasmussen Party ID model above is the most correct? What if Romney really is leading by 6.13%? That would be similar to 1988, when Bush beat Dukakis 53.4% to 45.7%.