Today Rasmussen’s daily poll shows a tied race at 48 each. This sample was gathered the three days immediately following Hurricane Sandy, and would lead many to think the president might receive a small post-hurricane bump as Americans “rally around the flag.” If that is the case, over the next four days there is a good likelihood that whatever bounce Obama got from Sandy would dissipate as voters focus back to the election, and as bad news emerges from the northeast, of people still seriously suffering in places such as Staten Island.
In addition, there is a theory that the incumbent gets a small boost in the final week leading up to an election. In 2004, Kerry won late deciders of three days or less by nine points, but only won voters who decided over the whole last week by six points. That would indicate that the voters who decided in the final week, but before the final weekend, broke to Bush in 2004 by about eight to ten points. That’s a small slice of the electorate, but that would tighten the race slightly like we are seeing today.
If those numbers repeat in 2012, it would be very possible that the numbers that President Obama sees going into this weekend are the best he will see before election day.