Monday, November 3, 2008

Poll Watching

TPM’s composite of national polls shows Barack Obama inching up. These are results from yesterday.

Gallup: Obama 52%, McCain 43%, with a ±2% margin of error, compared to a 52%-42% lead from yesterday.

Rasmussen: Obama 51%, McCain 46%, with a ±2% margin of error, unchanged from yesterday.

ABC/Washington Post: Obama 54%, McCain 43%, with a ±2% margin of error, compared to a 53%-44% Obama lead yesterday

Hotline/Diageo: Obama 50%, McCain 45%, with a ±3.3% margin of error, compared to a 51%-44% Obama lead from yesterday.

Research 2000: Obama 51%, McCain 44%, with a ±3% margin of error, unchanged from yesterday.

Zogby: Obama 50%, McCain 44%, with a ±2.9% margin of error, compared to a 49%-44% Obama lead from yesterday.

Adding these polls together and weighting them by the square roots of their sample sizes, Obama is ahead 51.5%-44.2%, a lead of 7.3 points, compared to the 51.2%-44.1% Obama lead from yesterday. Counting today, Obama’s lead has increased by small amounts in the last four consecutive Composites.

For those who are holding out for a replay of the Dewey-defeats-Truman miracle in 1948, let me gently remind you that over the last sixty years polling methods have improved, as have the number of pollsters. In 1948, Gallup did their last poll two weeks before the election because they decided that Gov. Dewey had it all sewn up. That’s obviously not happening here.

Remember, however, that national polls don’t mean anything official; they just show trends. It’s the state numbers that matter because it’s all in the Electoral College. For a good state-by-state breakdown, check out FiveThirtyEight.com.

I still hold with my belief that Mr. Obama will not break 50%, but we’ll find out in 48 hours.