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Obama's Biggest Lead Over Romney Since March

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We're now 60 hours or so past the Democratic convention. It is now clear that the Democrats got the better of the convention bounces. Indeed, recent national polls suggest that the Democrats' bounce not only erased some tenuous gains by Romney, but is propelling Obama into a commanding lead. In fact, Obama is now polling stronger than at any time in the last six months.

Consider the following. Today's release of Rasmussen's tracking poll showed Obama leading Romney by four points, 49 percent to 45 percent (interviews spanning Sept. 6 to Sept. 8). What makes this result especially noteworthy is that Rasmussen's results tends to skew in a pro-Republican direction, by as much as a percentage point or more; thus, their Obama +4 result is likely an underestimate of Obama's lead over Romney at the moment. Ipsos/Reuters and Gallup are also reporting Obama +4 results over essentially the same field periods.

American Research Group has a Romney +3 result (interviews spanning Sept. 4-6); interviews by Rasmussen spanning Sept. 3-5 also had Romney +3. These are the last national polls to show Romney leading Obama.

Using the tracking model I've developed for Pollster, I find that Obama is now polling against Romney better than he has since early March, during the heat of the Republican nominating campaign. Indeed, over the first week of September, Obama has picked up a percentage point of vote share over Romney, to now lead Romney by almost 3 percentage points.

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A key question is whether the Obama surge in national polling is showing in the swing-states? With the conventions behind us, we can expect more swing state polling this week and beyond. But based on (a) the available state-level polls; (b) modeling that links national and state-level polling, I estimate that Obama's current position translates into about 308 Electoral College votes. There is a reasonable amount of uncertainty in the state-by-state estimates of voting intentions, which in turn means the Electoral College estimate is itself subject to considerable uncertainty. Nonetheless, the probability that Obama would win 270 Electoral College votes or more is about 85 percent.

Two "set pieces" of the campaign are behind us: the Veep announcement and the conventions. Neither produced a sizeable shift towards Romney, at least in the national polling. Romney may be running out of opportunities to sway public opinion his way.

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
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