One way you know that the GOP nomination battle is effectively over is by examining the amount of press attention devoted to the last two contests on the calendar. The Illinois primary on Tuesday did not draw the same breathless attention on the media networks, nor did it generate nearly the same buzz via outlets like Twitter. And Louisiana was essentially ignored last night. While trying to follow the outcome in Louisiana on Twitter from the road last night, I was learning way more about the Syracuse-Ohio State outcome than the Santorum-Romney one.
Check out this synopsis of last week's midweek media focus, as told by Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast:
When Mitt Romney was winning the Illinois primary on Tuesday night, Bill O’Reilly moved from a short discussion of the contest to segments on whether Barack Obama is pushing the country toward socialism and whether he’s been tough enough on Iran. Sean Hannity led off his show with another debate on whether Bill Maher is a bad guy.Let's just say it out loud—Mitt's the nominee.
t wasn’t just Fox. On MSNBC, Ed Schultz devoted half his program to the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
The next morning, the campaign wasn’t among the top three stories billboarded by the Today show, which included: “What is it about this two-year-old that has more than three million people logging on to YouTube to watch her?”
Nor did the 2012 election make the top three at Good Morning America, which trumpeted this story: “Bikini model busted. The international swimsuit star back behind bars right now.”
In that spirit, what follows is the first of what I hope will be a series of reviews of the state of play in an Obama-Romney general election, by looking at the polling in each of the 51 contests that will determine who will be the president of the United States. It is a much more beneficial exercise to look at state polling, rather than looking at national polling of the race. Even if national polling hadn't been all over the map (and, dear lord, it has been), everyone who reads this site already knows that we elect our presidents through the electoral college.
Here are the parameters for this state-by-state study of the presidential polling:
1. In states where more than five polls have been conducted, the five most recent polls were utilized, and averaged together.Now that we've dispensed with the "rules of the game", head beyond the jump for the current state of play. Here's a teaser—by one metric (which would, admittedly, require a substantial swing in Mitt Romney's direction), there is a scenario for a 269-269 tie.
2. When fewer than five polls were available, the existing polls were averaged together. When no polls were available, the 2008 result was utilized. This only occurred, however, in about a dozen states, all of which leans precipitously to one side or another.
3. Polls for campaigns (or otherwise sponsored by PACs, etc) were left out. One exception—a poll conducted for Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly in Indiana was included, because (a) it was the only poll out of Indiana to date, and (b) it was more favorable to the GOP than the alternative, which was to use the 2008 results. Partisan firms were not unilaterally excluded, by the way, which means that both PPP and Rasmussen's polls were employed.
4. Polls were collected primarily via the Daily Kos Weekend Digest, and other outlets where available.