Last week, I approvingly linked the Daily Kos’ report on the PPP poll it commissioned when it showed Mitt Romney leading by two point, 49/47. Markos Moulitsas responded with some snark on Twitter, wondering if I’d link future polling from his site, and I said I probably would. Since I am a man of my word, here is the latest Daily Kos/PPP weekly polling result — which turned out to be even more painful than the first for Markos:
The candidates for President are Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. If the election was today, who would you vote for?Obama 46 (47)
Romney 50 (49)
At a time when other polls are moving back in the president’s direction, our own weekly poll by Public Policy Polling saw the opposite—a two-point Romney gain. Per day:
Friday (38%) Obama 47, Romney 49
Saturday (39%) Obama 49, Romney 47
Sunday (24%) Obama 43, Romney 55
That Sunday sample, about a quarter of the total, was entirely responsible for Romney’s favorable numbers. That’s why the good pollsters collect data over multiple days, to smooth out such irregularities. And at 400 respondents (or so), Sunday had a single-day MoE of 4.9 percent. Lots of polls float around with worse. On the other hand, Saturday’s sample MoE was 3.92 percent, while Friday’s was 3.97 percent. And with no external news even suggesting the big Sunday collapse, it certainly smells like an outlier.
You know an election is going poorly when an outfit commissions a poll, and then tries to argue that part of the results from its own poll is an outlier. Those Sunday results probably are an outlier, but they’re eye-popping nonetheless. On a day when conservatives tend not to conduct a lot of political business, the responders gave Romney a twelve-point lead over Obama. As Markos notes, that sample has a margin of error of less than five points, too, with roughly 400 responses.
The news gets worse for Obama in the subsamples:
Swing state Obama 47, Romney 50
Blue state Obama 52, Romney 45
Red State Obama 40, Romney 56
Two weeks ago, it was Obama leading Romney 50-46 in the Swing states. But he was also winning Blue states by 56-37, and losing Red states by just 41-52. Actually, the change in Red states is smaller (-5) compared to Blue states (-12) and Swing states (-7).
This lends some credence to the Mitt-mentum theory of a preference cascade already beginning. That’s not to say the election is over, but it does mean that it’s no longer Mitt Romney that needs a game changer. It’s Barack Obama.