Elections 2012: Slew of New Data Points to an Obama Lead

There’s a slew of new data. Most of it augurs well for President Barack Obama’s re-election. But let’s start with Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s good news.

The daily tracking poll from Rassmussen shows Romney in the lead for the first time, by a single point, 47 to 46 percent. That poll also shows three percent prefer someone else and five percent remain undecided. But remember the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3 points—so it’s really a tie.

“This is the first time in a week that Romney has held even a single-point advantage,” Rasmussen Reports said.

The poll also shows “perhaps most significantly” that Republicans are more engaged in this election than Democrats. “Romney has solidified the GOP vote and holds a 77-point lead among Republicans. That’s slightly larger than Obama’s 72-point advantage among Democrats,” the Reports said. In addition 18 percent of White Democrats support Romney.

On Thursday afternoon the Marist Poll reported Obama with an advantage over Romney in the three big swing states, Ohio, Virginia and Florida. That polls shows Obama leading by seven in Ohio and five in Virginia and Florida.

“The Buckeye State could again be make or break on Election Day,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Right now, Obama is better positioned to carry Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.”

However a Fox News poll shows the president gaining ground. It’s shows the president opening a 5 point lead, 48 to 43 percent. The margin of error is also plus or minus 3 percent. The Fox question about enthusiasm was also essentially tied, Romney supporters leading Obama supporters 63 to 62 percent.

The New York Times’s FiveThirtyEight column says that polls since the convention show a decline in the enthusiasm gap that early on favored Republicans. Nate Silver says the gap is now more at historical levels than one unique to this election. “Will Democrats maintain this narrower gap? Or is it a temporary effect from the conventions?” asks Silver. He said it’s hard to know without more data.

Finally, the HuffPost Politics Election Dashboard—tracking some 442 polls —shows an up-tick for Obama. It says Obama is now leading 48 percent to 45.1 percent.