Presidential polls have been neck and neck in a tight race, but Mitt Romney’s first convention bounce seems to have finally dissipated as incumbent candidate President Barack Obama surges ahead in the polls five days before two men enter and one man leaves.
Presidential polls have been all over the place in this election, with a post-debate surge for Romney seemingly calling off all bets in 2012. And discrepancies in October (most notably when Gallup diverged from all other polls in predicting a Romney win) have added fuel to the fire as well as the standard accusations of bias and poll skewing as the race heats up.
But, in the wake of Sandy, polls seem to have changed again, and Romney’s tight lead for Obama has all but disappeared. FiveThirtyEight has now increased their measured Obama lead as the election nears, and yesterday Nate Silver explained:
“Mr. Obama is not a sure thing, by any means. It is a close race. His chances of holding onto his Electoral College lead and converting it into another term are equivalent to the chances of an N.F.L. team winning when it leads by a field goal with three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, and sometimes they will … But it turns out that an N.F.L. team that leads by a field goal with three minutes left to go winds up winning the game 79 percent of the time. Those were Mr. Obama’s chances in the FiveThirtyEight forecast as of Wednesday: 79 percent.”
“I think describing the race as a ‘toss-up’ reflects an uninformed interpretation of the evidence, but there is surely room to debate how much of a favorite Mr. Obama is. However, Mr. Romney is not in a position to tolerate any movement in Mr. Obama’s favor given how close we are to the finish line.”
Have you been following the presidential polls more closely as the election approaches?