Nate Silver ‘A Bit Terrified’ by Current Polling Landscape


NYT election forecaster Nate Silver, who has got Obama currently at a 63.3% chance of winning, looks at the bog of state and national polls coming in for the last week and says it's going to take more data to decode:

Anyone in my business who is not a bit terrified by this set of facts is either lying to himself — or he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

There are three ways out of the stalemate. First, the state polls could move toward Mr. Romney. Second, the national polls could move toward Mr. Obama. Or third, we could receive more emphatic evidence that the difference between state polls and national polls in fact reflects a potential difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College. (This latter case, importantly, would require evidence that Mr. Romney was running well in noncompetitive states along with evidence that Mr. Obama was performing well in swing states.)

He says an ABC News poll today could be of some help with the forecast:

The forecast does not yet account, however, for a national poll conducted for The Washington Post and ABC News, which was released early on Monday morning. That poll gave Mr. Obama a lead of 3 percentage points in the national race among likely voters, and a 7-point lead among registered voters, both figures tying for his largest of the year in that survey.

We will see what the rest of Monday’s polling data brings, but The Washington Post and ABC News poll has the potential to be influential on the forecast, in the same way that a Pew Research poll showing a sharp break to Mr. Romney was last week.