Polling’s Big Cautious Berthas Weigh In

So the final tracking polls from Gallup and ABC/WaPo weighed in today, with large samples and similar internals. Gallup, after showing Mitt up four to six points among LVs in most of the period after the Denver debate, has him up just one in tracking from November 1-4 (Obama still leads among RVs by three). ABC/WaPo has Obama up three among LVs (50-47), exactly the margin they showed three weeks ago (49-46). Again, the internals of the two polls are similar, but with significant small differences (e.g., Gallup has Obama with 39% of white voters; ABC/WaPo has him at 41%).

Aside from Gallup showing a pro-Obama trend in late polling, the main reason these two polls could be significant is that both firms have exhibited a pro-Republican “house effect” in prior polling this year. We’ll see what the Nates (Silver and Cohn) have to say overnight. But at this point, the fact that the only two national polls showing Mitt ahead in the popular vote are Rasmussen and Gallup should be cold comfort to Republicans, aside from their continuing problems in the battleground states.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.