It's the trends, baby, just like I said. This is a screenshot of Nate Silver's projections based on state polls reported back today. Those polls aren't pretty for Mitt. Ohio dropped out of the tossup zone and into "lean Obama" territory, along with Colorado and Nevada. TPM's PollTracker has been conservative for the whole election cycle, and even it crossed over this week, putting Obama in winning territory, albeit not by much. Daily Kos' Steve Singiser had even more bad news for Romney:
Despite the (comparably) modest sample size, the trajectory of today's numbers are pretty unmistakeable. This was, on balance, the worst polling day for Mitt Romney since the heady days (for Democrats, at least) of mid-to-late September. Not only did all the old "battleground" states come in a little weaker for him than recent polling averages would indicate, a couple of them (Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin) came in significantly worse.
What's more: the one state where he did get some halfway decent data yesterday (Michigan) betrayed him today, as a new poll there shows the state quite a bit more comfortable for him than yesterday's Glengariff poll suggested.
As for methodology, one pollster says the samples aren't representative of likely or registered voters, because they are not including enough cell phone only users in their samples. Mother Jones:
Why does this uptick in cell-only users matter? Because, as Greenberg writes, some polls used to gauge the state of the presidential race don't reach these people—and could therefore be lowballing Obama's standing. (Robocalls are used by many pollsters, but cellphones are blocked from receiving robocalls.) Greenberg went back and analyzed 4,000 of his polling firm's interviews this election season and found that cell-only voters break for Obama in significant numbers.
Meanwhile, in the secret back rooms of the Romney campaign, they're busy telling everyone not to worry, they'll win it in a landslide. They're so confident of this they're going to pour a whole lot of ad money into Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan, states with such a solid Obama lead they've been conceded for weeks.
I think that would be part of Karl Rove's "pretend there's Mittmentum" strategy. It goes hand in hand with Dick Morris standing tall and predicting a Republican landslide. Confession: Reading Morris' stupid predictions made me feel much better about the election, since Morris is wrong about everything.
Here's a little picture of the most current Rand poll as a chaser. Still, it's going to depend on everyone actually voting, and that may be a problem in New Jersey and New York.
I like the trends. I'm told these final polls are the most predictive, and if they hold and everyone votes, we can toast to four more years on November 6th.