Gallup tracker: Romney now even with Obama at 47

Eight days ago it was 50/44, today it’s a dead heat. I already wrote about O’s fade (or, more accurately, his disappearing convention bounce) in the Gallup tracker two days ago, so read that if you missed it then. What makes this poll interesting isn’t the raw numbers but the fact that he’s still on a downward slope despite two days of media hyperventilation over Romney’s “47 percent” remarks. That did hurt Romney a little, but if it was any sort of gamechanger I assume we’d already be seeing some evidence in tracking polls. We’re not seeing that in Gallup.

But … maybe we are in Rasmussen?

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows President Obama attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns 45% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided. See daily tracking history.

When “leaners” are included, it’s Obama 50% and Romney 47%.

Ras had Romney ahead 47/45 on Tuesday, when I flagged O’s decline in the Gallup tracker, and 47/46 yesterday. Today, suddenly, there’s a swing towards Obama putting him back in front. Is that fallout from the “47 percent” kerfuffle or statistical noise or something else? Compounding the strangeness is that Gallup polls registered voters for its tracker while Rasmussen polls likelies, which typically are more favorable to Republicans, and yet it’s Gallup that has Romney even with O.

But wait, let’s make this stranger still. While Gallup is showing swing-state enthusiasm spiking for Democrats, Rasmussen just dropped this data from the eternally important state of Iowa:

Mitt Romney remains slightly ahead in the swing state of Iowa.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Iowa Voters shows Romney with 47% support to President Obama’s 44%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are still undecided.

So O’s picking up steam in Rasmussen’s tracker, but is flat and trailing in a key swing state that he won by nearly 10 points four years ago. Sufficiently confused yet? No? Okay, then let me drop this on you — from, of all places, Fox News:

President Barack Obama has the edge over Republican Mitt Romney in three potentially decisive states in the presidential election.

Obama tops Romney by seven percentage points among likely voters in both Ohio (49-42 percent) and Virginia (50-43 percent). In Florida, the president holds a five-point edge (49-44 percent)…

The good news for Romney is that among voters who are “extremely” interested in this year’s election, the races are much tighter. Obama is up by just two points with this group in Virginia (49-47 percent), Florida is tied (48-48 percent), and Romney is up by one point in Ohio (48-47 percent).

Those polls were conducted from September 16th through the 18th — the very day that Rasmussen had Romney going up two points on Obama in his daily national tracker. I have no explanations on how to square all of this data. But if I have to deal with this madness every day then, darn it, so do you.