Daily tracking polls update: Steady as she goes edition

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

Chart 1: The daily tracking polls (click to enlarge)

In 24 hours time, we will know a lot more – but for now, we’re still going on polls. OK, on polls and early voting numbers by party affiliation.

The daily tracking polls on this final day of campaigning are surprisingly, and reassuringly, stable. No tightening nor expanding of Obama’s lead; just a seemingly random mix of minor fluctuations. Research 2000 has Obama’s lead down a point, ABC/WaPo has it down two. But Rasmussen and Zogby have it up a point, and the two Gallup likely voter models are up by two and three points respectively. The IBD/TIPP poll had Obama’s lead plummeting from five to two points yesterday, and has it back up to five again today.

All in all, the average of the tracking polls (taking the expanded likely voter model of Gallup’s) has Obama’s lead up a tick from 6.4% to 7.0%. That’s higher than it’s been in a week. In the last five days it’s gone up from 5.6% to 7.0%, so the last minute mojo would seem to be more Obama’s than McCain’s.

There is a little more disagreement again between the pollsters about the actual size of Obama’s lead though. Basically there’s two clusters. Rasmussen, Hotline, Research 2000, IBD/TIPP and Zogby all have Obama’s lead at 5-7 points. I’d go with the crowd here, but Gallup and the ABC/WaPo poll disagree. They have it at 9 points (WaPo) or 11 points (Gallup, both likely voter models). In fact, they’ve had it at 8-11 points for four days now, even as the other pollsters oscillated between 2 and 7 points.

Chart 2 (click to enlarge)

Chart 2 (click to enlarge)

This disagreement shows up in Chart 2, which maps out the average Obama lead if you calculate it on the basis of all but one of the tracking polls, each line representing the exclusion of one poll. The lines dont quite overlap anymore, and the thin brown line representing the average deviation from the mean is up a little.

That’s a bit in the weeds though. Bottom line is that there’s no tightening in the tracking polls, and that the last minute average goes, if anything, to Obama. How do the other, non-tracking national polls compare? For this we go to Pollster.com and its invaluable interactive chart of national polls. Tweak the settings yourself or go on my version below, which excludes internet polls and starts at 4 May (six months before the elections):


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