Mourdock's Rape Comments Leave Him in a Precarious Polling Position

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Internal polls from both sides present conflicting but not-pretty pictures for Richard Mourdock in Indiana, Colorado is neck-and-neck in the presidential race, and tracking polls conflict again. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter. 

Findings: In the Indiana Senate race, a Democratic poll finds Richard Mourdock trailing Joe Donnelly by seven points following his comments that pregnancy from rape was a "gift from God." Meanwhile, an internal poll from the Mourdock campaign shows the two tied. 
Pollster: Anzalone Liszt Research, McLaughlin & Associates 
Methodology: For Democratic poll: Landline and cell phone poll of 446 likely voters October 24 through 25 with a margin of error of +/-4.6 percent.  For Mourdock poll: Interviews with 600 likely general election voters October 24 to 25 with a margin of error of +/-4 percent.
Why it matters: Though these two show different results, one much worse for Mourdock, there's not much good news here for him. Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall tweets: "Best sign Mourdock's in trouble? His own campaign released a poll today that shows him tied." 
Caveat: Both of these are partisan polls.

Findings: Polls out today and yesterday in Colorado have President Obama tied with Mitt Romney, up by 1 point, and up by 4 points.
Pollster: NBC/WSJ/Marist, Purple Strategies, and Public Policy Polling.
Methodology: For NBC: Poll of 1,128 likely voters October 23 through 24. For Purple Strategies: Automated and online poll of 600 likely voters October 23 through 25. For Public Policy Polling: Automated poll of 904 likely voters October 23 through 25.
Why it matters: The New York Times' Nate Silver writes today that Colorado could be one of Obama's "second lines of defense for him if he were to lose a state like Ohio." That said, it's unnervingly tight for him, and it and "Virginia appear as though they might be the closest states in an election held today." Earlier this week the Associated Press' Nicholas Riccardi and Kirsten Wyatt explained that Obama's loosened grip on the state is an example "of how hard it has been for him to maintain that coalition against the headwinds of a sour economy and his own disastrous first debate performance in Denver." 
Caveat: PPP leans Democratic. 

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Findings: Romney is back to a 5-point lead nationally according to Gallup, but after a 3 point lead in ABC News/Washington Post yesterday, his lead has shrunk to 1 point.
Pollster: Gallup, ABC News/Washington Post 
Methodology: Daily tracking in both instances.
Why it matters: Another instance of conflicting national polls. This perhaps is why we should pay attention to Nate Silver when he says "that efforts to look at the polls in a systematic way are likely to be superior to much of what passes for polling analysis, which looks at them on an ad-hoc basis. Trying to decode the meaning of an individual poll is not a terribly useful exercise when 20 or 30 of them are released every day." 
Caveat: In the RCP average Romney is up by 0.9 points

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.