Let’s start with a quick reality check. In the national vote, HuffPollster’s poll-of-polls average currently has it at Mitt Romney 47.4 percent, Barack Obama 47.1 percent. That’s basically stable over the last several days, and really basically unchanged since about October 10. Meanwhile, their state-by-state polling averages have Obama leading in states with 277 electoral votes, with another 26 electoral votes in tossup states in which Obama has a very slim lead. More on the polls below.
1. The different approaches of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on natural disasters. Excellent article by Ed O’Keefe.
2. See also a nice piece by Alec McGillis on Romney and FEMA.
3. Always read Andrew Sprung on Romney Rules. This edition: justifying the Jeep lie.
4. Important policy and election point from Kevin Drum: Medicaid is important for middle-class voters, too – and they may know it.
5. Sophisticated voter targeting on the Democratic side, explained by Sasha Issenberg.
6. Good overview from Jamelle Bouie on what’s happening at the Senate level — a huge and underappreciated story.
7. While I think I know the real story behind the Republican Senate troubles.
8. John Sides makes the key point about polling: pre-election polls do an excellent job of predicting election results. Full stop. They can be off by a point or two, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll be more wrong than that. Possible! But unlikely.
9. Drew Linzer, meanwhile, checks again and doesn’t see anything unusual in the state polls. His conclusion? “If you believe the polls, Obama is in good shape for reelection.”
10. Sam Wang on the kerfuffle over Nate Silver. Wang, an excellent poll-based forecaster himself, gets this exactly right: “None of this storm of criticism would be happening if ‘Ro-mentum’ were real.”
11. Worth noting: Dylan Matthews reminds us that the Hibbs “bread and peace” forecasting model — which does not look at polls at all — predicts a Romney victory.
12. And Dan Drezner on public policy, Joss Whedon, and zombies.