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Nate Silver tries to make sense of all the polls in a special election - which is what he's paid to do, I guess. For what it's worth, here's his explanation:

Guessing, guessing -- I'm using that word a lot, guessing. When we're looking at a Presidential race, we don't have to guess as much, because we can look not only at polls in a particular state, but also at polls from other, similar states, as well as national polls, including several daily trackers. Under those circumstances, this method can be quite robust. Here, it is less so.

But this is also true for the Pollster.com approach. If you take the Pajamas Media polls out of their average, for instance, their characterization of the race goes from Brown +7.9 to Coakley +1.2! That's not especially robust, either.

My suspicion is that Coakley is toast. But then I also thought that Hoffman would win NY 23. And that Obama would win New Hampshire in the primaries.