The electorate is being bombarded with so much polling data that it can make your head spin. The only universal conclusion is that Romney has gained ground on Obama between the first debate and now. The election is neck and neck.
Some talking heads are saying that Romney’s momentum is ebbing to a degree, but he is still gaining ground, seemingly an improbable observation. The explanation may be that Obama is suffering from “election undertow.” [I never heard of this term before today.] The theory is that voters are becoming less enamored with Obama every day, and the polls are moving towards the challenger. It is unclear whether undecided voters are having a material impact. Most think there are very few remaining undecided voters. Most of the polling information coming through with seven days left until the election is fresh and it tells a story that should uplift Romney supporters.
Romney is definitely ahead in the popular vote according to every pollster, although his lead is usually within the margin of error. NPR has him up 1% and Rasmussen up 2%. Nevertheless, an electoral analysis gives the edge to Obama. Some analysts think Romney just might suffer the same fate as Al Gore in 2000, when the latter won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote.
Rasmussen reports that Romney wins the “favorable vote” 51%-48%, “trust” 51%-45% and Obama’s approval rating has fallen to 49%, down from 65% in January 2009.
The swing state polls are in flux with Romney making up a lot of ground over the past month. A very interesting analysis by Real Clear Politics has Obama leading in many of the swing polls, but his lead is substantially lower than what it was at the same time during the 2008 election. Check out these numbers.
Note: A very recent Rasmussen poll shows Romney now leading in Ohio 50%-48%, and there is a tie in Wisconsin at 49%-49%.
I found some other numbers provided by Gallup that show a marked erosion in Obama supporters as compared to the days prior to the 2008 election. Here they are:
White excl Hispanic
Non-white incl Hispanics
Frankly, I am not a true believer in election polls. But, if you assume these polls were all done in a consistent manner, the scales are certainly tilted towards Romney.