Polling Noise

By Patrick Appel
I agree with Matt about the ups and downs of daily tracking polls:

...look, Obama's been drifting in the 45-48 range and McCain's been drifting in the 41-44 range and there's no reason to think that movements within the familiar bands represent anything other than normal fluctuation in a statistical sample. I think the commentary on the tracking polls looks more and more like the silly commentary on the daily fluctuations of the Dow where first analysts look at numbers, and then second they devise post hoc explanations of the movement. Realistically, I don't think there's anything worth commenting on unless some much more sustained trend develops.