President Barack Obama’s free ride with enough of the disengaged portion of the electorate to matter may finally be coming to an end.
A look at the top two presidential election polls listed at Real Clear Politics on Sunday morning showed the race between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a dead heat.
The first, the daily tracking poll at Rasmussen – the most accurate presidential pollster in the 2008 presidential contest — had the 2012 race knotted at 46%. (Pew Research, often cited along with Rasmussen as being the most accurate four years ago, was only on target in its final 2008 poll after showing absurdly cooked 15- and 14-point leads for Obama over John McCain one and two weeks, respectively, before Election Day.)
The second Sunday poll came from Gallup, which reported a 47% deadlock — erasing a six-point Obama lead from the previous week. Interviews in both polls went through Friday, September 21.
The six polls listed below Rasmussen and Gallup at RCP showed Obama with an average lead of 4.5 points. Their poll cutoffs were several days earlier, ranging from September 16-19.
Even after considering that at least two of the previous polls had samples overstuffed with Democrats, that’s quite a swing in just a few days. If this kind of move had gone in Obama’s direction, there would be a constant drumbeat in the establishment press declaring the race all but over.
Oh, wait. There is anyway.
On Saturday, Thomas Beaumont and Charles Babington at the Administration’s Press attempted to pile on. In a piece headlined “Tide shifts to Obama in most competitive states,” the pair wrote that ”the advantage has shifted toward President Barack Obama after a series of miscues by Mitt Romney, punctuated by the Republican challenger’s comments about people who pay no income tax.” The premise of babblers Beaumont and Babington is that the key swing states Romney badly needs to win are now slipping away.
Really? Before the national polling swing in Romney’s direction just cited, Rasmussen had the following toss-up state rundown: Virginia, Obama up by three points; Nevada, Obama by two; Ohio, Obama by one; Florida, Romney by one; Colorado, Romney by two; New Hampshire, Romney by two; Iowa, Romney by three; and North Carolina, Romney by six.