Right then. This is now officially weird.
Three polls (USAT/Gallup, Pew, and ABC/WaPo) show the race tightening dramatically, with the Democratic lead on the generic ballot question falling into the mid-single digits. Three others (Newsweek,CNN, Fox/OD) show the Democrats’ lead either increasing a little bit or jumping, and have the current lead between 13 and 20.
The explanation doesn’t seem to be timing:
The three polls showing narrowing were in the field W-Th-F-Sa or Th-F-Sa-Su.
The three polls showing widening were in the field Th-F, Sa-Su-M, and Su-M. [Time polled W-Th-F, and had the Democratic lead stable at 15.]
Maybe Saturday, the 4th, give an unusually Republican-leading sample?
Chris Bowers at MyDD says the Pew poll, the one showing the most dramatic tightening, has an unrealistically conservative and Republican-identified “likely voter” panel, and shows that a reweighting produces dramatically different result.
Has there ever been an election where the polling results coming to the finish were so mutually contradictory? You might think that all of this will be irrelevant by midnight tomorrow, but that isn’t quite right. Now that we know how straightforward it is to cheat with touchscreen machines if you have the cards in your possession, and now that we know that the Republican Party is running a national effort to suppress votes with harrassing “false flag” robo-calls, it doesn’t require an especially suspicious mind to think that there may be widespread efforts to cheat in the count (on top of the usual widespread efforts to prevent Democrats from voting). The more unclear the polling picture is going into the election, the less obvious the cheating will be if it happens.
Update Democracy Corps says it’s the volatile “generic” vote collapsing toward the stable “named” vote; in their polling, the Democratic generic advantage has slipped, but there’s been no slippage in the “named” vote. Named Democrats remain, on average, 5 points up on the named Republicans in 50 Republic-held districts thought of us pickup possibilities.
(My speculation: If the Dem is an average of 5 points up in 50 Republican-held districts, that sounds like a pickup of way more than 25, especially if there are a few districts that weren’t thought to be competitive where a Democrat wins anyway.