Monday, October 8, 2012

Gallup's "Latest"

Yahoo News has a story right on their homepage (updated a little over 2 hours ago) that says
The latest Gallup tracking poll conducted in the three days immediately following last week's first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama shows the race tied - with each candidate currently garnering 47 percent support among registered voters. Tracking conducted in the two days leading up to the debate showed President Obama with a five point lead - 50 percent to Mitt Romney's 45 percent.
This would be breaking news if it were actually now ... ya know, breaking. It's actually almost 2 days old.

Go to Gallup's site and you'll see that their "latest" polling release has Obama up 50-45, better than the 49-46 margin he had yesterday and the day before. Gallup's tracker does not yet have a full 7 days since the debate so Obama's numbers may well deteriorate from here once we get the full post-debate set of interviews. But it is just not true to say that the story above is "the latest."

Rasmussen's tracker this morning shows Obama and Romney tied 48-48, better than Romney's 2-point lead yesterday. I noted yesterday that Romney's post-debate surge seems to have crested. Both these polls are consistent with that view.

Mark Blumenthal is up with an article this afternoon explaining the Gallup mess for laypeople. Read that if what I've said above is unclear. But importantly, he points out that Romney's bounce may well be fading at this point.
Gallup's Monday afternoon update suggests the initial bounce that Romney received from last week's presidential debate may already be starting to fade.
If only Yahoo news could somehow offer the "latest" by being attached to some kind of worldwide network of computers that sends information around at the speed of light. That would be really cool.

In any case, here's where we are. Obama's approval rating for Gallup AND for Rasmussen is now 51%. Those are good numbers for Barack Obama if they're real.

Now, those are tracking polls and I'll be the first to criticize those two polling organizations for being ... well, not good. But, until we see some actual evidence (good polls) showing Romney with some massive surge, I wish news organizations would stop saying it's happening.

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