Presidential polls of a few weeks ago showed Mitt Romney seizing control of the race, pushing ahead of Barack Obama nationwide and creeping closer in swing states.
But since Romney’s post-debate peak in mid-October, Barack Obama has been clawing back the momentum Mitt stole and the final presidential polls before Election Day show that Obama now has a comfortable lead.
Hurricane Sandy could have something to do with Obama’s strong standing in presidential polls, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver writes:
“If President Obama wins re-election on Tuesday, the historical memory of the race might turn on the role played by Hurricane Sandy.
“Already, some analysts are describing the storm as an “October surprise” that allowed Mr. Obama to regain his footing after stumbling badly in the first presidential debate and struggling to get back on course. Some Republicans seem prepared to blame a potential defeat for Mitt Romney on the storm, and the embrace of Mr. Obama by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other public officials.”
Presidential polls would seem to support this theory. Of the presidential polls released this weekend, Obama lead in nearly all except for three that showed the race as a tie. Even the normally Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports failed to show Mitt Romney in the lead.
Obama had already regained a stronger standing in presidential polls after the second and third presidential debates, but Hurricane Sandy appeared to send him even higher. The FiveThirtyEight projection of Obama’s re-election chances sat at 73 percent before the storm hit, but early Monday it had risen to higher than 85 percent.
Mark Blumenthal of HuffPost Pollster notes that presidential polls are strong for Obama — in Ohio:
“Of the 10 new surveys released in Ohio since Friday, all but one show nominal, single-digit Obama leads, except for one automated Rasmussen Reports poll indicating a tie. The Pollster tracking model, as of this writing, gives Obama an Ohio lead of over 3 percentage points (49.1 to 45.7 percent).”
But as pollsters note, the only remaining presidential polls that matter are those that come out at the end of Election Day.