This open thread is to discuss all of the day's polls -- what they tell us about the election, their methodological strengths and weaknesses, notable findings others have missed or whatever else you want to talk about. Each day's open thread will appear in the morning and remain open for 24 hours. We also encourage you to use the "favorite" button to identify the most interesting or insightful comments.
Tuesday featured comment
"From my perspective and that of others, these polls exist for 3 reasons
1. Candidates need polling on issues, need internals to see how the campaign's doing with different groups, etc. That's all kind of obvious
2. Candidates use polling data to attract contributions; if they have a firm doing regular polling, they get to pick and choose the poll and may have some latitude, as well, in determining the demographics.They can usually come up with an attractive result, especially if they poll several times.
3. Candidates use polls to counter another candidate's poll by blocking any narrative that may develop when, for example Joe Challenger comes out with a poll showing Judy Incumbent's lead down to 6 points and her favorables dropping, if Judy's internals are showing a much bigger lead it makes sense to release them to counter the previous poll, avoid negative media buzz, and depress potential contributions to Joe Challenger's campaign.
Note also that there are professional polling firms (on both sides) whose data is generally reliable (though, remember, the candidate gets to cherry pick the best of a group of results....maybe the day before the results were terrible...and there are hack firms as well." - TJampel