Hurricane Sandy bangs US presidential race

Filed in Politics, United States by on October 31, 2012 0 Comments

While the Obama-Romney match heats up, hurricane Sandy is disrupting.

Two major tracking polls – the Gallup poll and the Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP survey – suspended operations as the gigantic storm swept across much of the US Northeast. Pollsters cannot perform their job while millions of households in the region lose power and become unreachable by phone. But data available have messages to get across.

Republican Mitt Romney retains a narrow edge, so narrow that it falls within the margin of error of the enterprise. The RealClearPolitics rolling average of major polls, as of Monday afternoon, had Mr. Romney leading President Obama by one percentage point, for instance, 47.7 percent to 46.7 percent. The Huffington Post statistical model, which combines state and local presidential polls, in contrast showed Romney up by a mere two-tenths of a percentage point, 47.4 percent to 47.2 percent. Both these measures have been generally stable over the past week.

Meanwhile, in the race to 270 Electoral College votes and actual victory, Obama appears to maintain the small lead he’s had for weeks, 277 to 206 of Romney. In addition, the “Now-cast” of New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver puts Obama as the favorite to win 299.8 electoral votes, given current state polls, with Romney’s corresponding number at 238.2

However, hurricane Sandy’s effects may in essence throw lots of noise into poll results that surveys might not reflect any movement one way or another until Election Day.

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