For the Democrats, it must feel like 2000 all over again. A day after Quinnipiac and American Research Group showed Barack Obama with his first leads in Florida, Rasmussen finds him still 8 points behind. That’s a slight improvement from Rasmussen’s last poll in Florida, which had shown Obama trailing by 10 points, but obviously a long way from something that would get the job done in November.
We talked a little bit yesterday about the differences in accounting for party identification between the different pollsters. Those differences seem as though they’re particularly large in Florida, where Rasmussen has consistently had Obama way down, but Quinnipiac more competitive.
At the end of the day, however, what matters is not so much the Florida result in the abstract, but where it stands relative to other states. Our model calls Florida a toss-up — but it’s also giving Obama credit for about a 5 point lead nationally. If the election tightens, is Florida still a state in which he wants to invest resources? Were I running his campaign, I’d commission some internal polling of the state, as Florida is so resource-intensive that a decision may need to be made on it relatively early.
That’s about it insofar as the polling goes today. Rasmuseen’s national tracker still has Obama ahead by 3 points; Gallup will not be releasing numbers today. Economist/YouGov also has some national numbers out that I’d failed to be mindful of; Obama leads by 3 points in their poll conducted this week, and led by 4 last week, after having trailed in most of The Economist’s polling throughout the month of May.