…but as usual Jay Cost beat me to the punch (read from the bottom up):
Nonetheless I could still make a useful point building on my last post:
The essence here is that, in the post-Reagan re-balancing of the two parties (the 1980 D/R differential was D+15!) we’ve been exceptionally regular with the party split, much like the regularity of the Independent share of the vote. D+0 to D+4, until 2008, where, as we saw in the last post, not only a small surge in declared Independents (29%, up from the 26 to 27% norm post-Watergate), but also a surge to D+7 in the partisan split.
So what are we to make of the polls right now?
First, they’re designed to make news, to fill the cycle when news agencies want to discuss the “beauty contest” without spending moment one on the strength of the support. Remember: Jimmy Carter was polling 47 to 48% in September 1980. He got 41% in November.
Second, they’re polls without events. The conventions were a month ago. The only drivers in the interim have been (supposed) GAAAFES, real-world tragedy on the foreign policy front, and days of campaigning and fundraising.
That changes next week, with the first of the debates. Two days later we get the September jobs report. Which one MSNBC personality on Twitter thinks (thanks to ThinkProgress) is going to be great and the end of the Romney jobs attack because new jobless claims are leveling off.
At 330,000 per week.
Well below replenishment.
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.
Then more debates. And before you know it, one last jobs report and Election Day.
There are in my opinion two potential realities:
First is what I’ll call the Eeyore scenario. That is that 2008 reflected the start of a seismic change in the electorate; this would reflect in the polls PPP and other organizations have posted, with Democratic voter enthusiasm outstripping Republicans for the first time in 60 years; with a D+8 or 9 a possibility.
Second is a norming scenario: a D+2 to D+4 electorate, like every other one since 1984.
Now look at the facts of the economy, and of political instability abroad, and the vast set of accomplishments of this President, and answer me this:
Which is more plausible given what we know?
So chill. Plenty of time on the clock.