Momentum? Try NoMentum
Mr. Romney clearly gained ground in the polls in the week or two after the Denver debate, putting himself in a much stronger overall position in the race. However, it seems that he is no longer doing so.
Take Wednesday’s national tracking polls, for instance. (There are now eight of them published each day.) Mr. Romney gained ground in just one of the polls, an online poll conducted for Reuters by the polling organization Ipsos. He lost ground in five others, with President Obama improving his standing instead in those surveys. On average, Mr. Obama gained about one point between the eight polls…
What isn’t very likely, however, is for one candidate to lose ground in five of six polls if the race is still moving toward him. In other words, we can debate whether Mr. Obama has a pinch of momentum or whether the race is instead flat, but it’s improbable that Mr. Romney would have a day like this if he still had momentum….The battleground state polls that came in on Wednesday were generally very close to our model’s current projections. For instance, there were three Ohio polls published on Wednesday; one showed a tied race there, while the other two showed Mr. Obama ahead by margins of two and five points.That’s pretty much what you’d expect to see out of a trio of Ohio polls if Mr. Obama’s lead there were about two points, which is where our model now has it.
Romney’s Surge Was Never Enough to Catch Up in the Swing States
More from Mark Blumenthal at HuffPo about the non-existent Romney surge :
Collectively, the new polls of the past 24 hours have done nothing to change the standings in the most crucial battleground states. Obama continued to hold leads of 2 to 3 percentage points in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and Wisconsin, four states that currently combine with the states where Obama leads by larger margins to create a 277 electoral vote majority, seven more than the 270 needed to win….
Collectively, the trends of the past week provide a reality check to two myths that have emerged in recent campaign coverage.
The first is that Romney has been “surging” since the first debate. While the debate certainly boosted Romney’s standing in the polls, trends over the past two weeks have been negligible, with the leader seesawing nationally within a range of roughly one percentage point. Over the same period, the standings within the key battleground states have also remained constant. Other poll tracking models have shown the same patterns.
The second myth is that the national and battleground states polls have produced widely divergent results. If we use the state estimates produced by the Pollster tracking model in the nine key battlegrounds (Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina) to create a combined total vote based on the turnout in each state in 2008, we show Obama leading in across all nine states by a slim 0.6 percentage point margin (47.8 to 47.2 percent as of this writing; the estimated margin would be 47.9 to 47.2 percent if based on the 2004 turnout).
Women Liked Romney on First Date, But Not Second
A poll by Lake Research Partners, via DKos, found an interesting result that I’ll expand on in a moment:
The poll found that in New Hampshire, a large gender gap is driving the numbers. Women prefer Obama over Romney 52 percent to 43 percent, while men prefer Romney 47 percent to 43 percent. Celinda Lake’s money quote:
“Women liked Romney on the first date, but not the second date and not the third.”
I noticed during this last debate, watching CNN’s insta-focus group meter at the bottom of the screen, how negative women were reacting to Romney versus how they felt about Obama. Look at how women reacted to Romney’s comments about repealing Obamacare in particular, watch the meter at the bottom of the screen – women are in yellow, they really drop when he mentions repeal:
I think Lake is correct, that women were intrigued by Romney at first, then got to know him better and went “ycch.” Not enough of a ycch to wipe away the entire surge he got from the first debate, but when you look at Nate Silver’s tracking, you can see how Romney surged after the debate, then the surge reversed. See chart below:
When Romney’s post-debate surge ended, why didn’t he just flat-line? Instead, things moved back towards Obama.
It looks like some voters had a momentary swoon for Romney, then thought better of it. In an ironic touch, the voters flip-flopped on Romney.