ONE OF THESE POLLS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS
When I read this about a Gallup poll...
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are deadlocked at 47 percent each in the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll of national voters, with the GOP challenger edging the incumbent 48 percent to 46 percent in a dozen battleground states identified by the survey....
Mitt Romney's chief primary opponent, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.), has an even stronger showing against Obama in the poll, leading the president 50 percent to 45 percent in swing states and 49 percent to 46 percent nationally.
... and then I read this about another poll...
A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll reveals the prolonged nominating battle is taking a toll on the GOP candidates and finds the president’s standing significantly improved from late last year.
President Barack Obama’s approval rating is 53 percent, up 9 percentage points in four months. Matched up against his Republican opponents, he leads Mitt Romney by 10 points (53-43) and Rick Santorum by 11 (53-42).
...it reaffirms my sense that Gallup is now a significant outlier in the polling world, at least with regard to this presidential race.
I know a lot of you feel your eyes glazing over when I put up a post full of numbers, but it doesn't take much to spot the pattern in what I'm about to post -- just look for the red in the right-hand column. Here's the list of all the recent Obama-Romney polls prior to the two listed above, via Real Clear Politics. Notice one that stands out? In red? On the right? (Click to enlarge.)
And the same for Obama-Santorum -- red? On the right? (Again, click to enlarge.)
What's up with Gallup? Is it an older-skewing respondent pool, or at least a landline-skewing one? (Gallup has been calling cellphones since 2008, but I wonder if they're underrepresented.) Whatever it is, either Gallup is wrong about this race or everyone else is. I'm going to be very skeptical about Gallup from now on.
(Though I will note this: the polls generally seem to agree that Santorum is approximately as electable as Romney, which does fly in the face of conventional wisdom.)