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Mitt Romney vs. Pres. Obama: Real Clear Politics 'poll of polls' shows candidates within 0.1 percent of each other

Published: Thursday, Sept. 3 2015 12:01 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., arrive for a campaign rally in Powell, Ohio. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are running so close to each other right now that the Real Clear Politics FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., arrive for a campaign rally in Powell, Ohio. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are running so close to each other right now that the Real Clear Politics "poll of polls" shows Obama besting Romney by the narrowest of margins: 0.1 percent. (Evan Vucci, Associated Press)

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are running so close to each other right now that the Real Clear Politics "poll of polls" shows Obama besting Romney by the narrowest of margins: 0.1 percent.

By averaging several national polls published during the previous 15-20 days, the Real Clear Politics presidential poll tracker can effectively offset polling biases and detect trends. Of the eight polls in play for RCP's Monday analysis, Obama claimed five (Resurgent Republic, CNN/Opinion Research, CBS News, Democracy Corps and Gallup), while Romney emerged victorious in three (FOX News, ABC News/Washington Post and Rasmussen Reports).

The average of those eight polls narrowly places Obama ahead of Romney, 46.4-46.3.

Also Monday, the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight elections blog examined how much of a "bounce" Romney received in the polls from last week's Republican National Convention.

In this July 24, 2012, photo, President Barack Obama speaks at a fundraising event at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are running so close to each other right now that the Real Clear Politics In this July 24, 2012, photo, President Barack Obama speaks at a fundraising event at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are running so close to each other right now that the Real Clear Politics "poll of polls" shows Obama besting Romney by the narrowest of margins: 0.1 percent. (Associated Press)

"My view," polling guru Nate Silver wrote for the Times, "is that the consensus of evidence so far points toward Mitt Romney having received a small bounce in the polls of perhaps two or three percentage points from the Republican convention. …

"There have been some polls where Mr. Romney’s bounce has been a bit larger than that, and others where there is little sign of a bounce at all. On the favorable side for Mr. Romney is the Rasmussen Reports tracking poll, which now shows him four percentage points ahead of President Obama. That represents a 6-point swing toward Mr. Romney compared with the poll Rasmussen Reports released immediately before the convention."

By isolating the Latino vote, the Latino Decisions tracking poll reported Romney's post-convention bump among Latinos at four points — with his support rising from 26 percent to 30 percent.

Politico's Emily Schultheis analyzed the new Latino Decisions polling data: "Romney was never going to catch up to Obama among Latinos, given the huge lead Obama has with the demographic. But after a convention that certainly had moments and speakers geared toward Latino voters — Marco Rubio introducing Romney, Susana Martinez, and Craig Romney speaking in Spanish, to name a few — it's an encouraging sign for Republicans who hope that the party's deficit among Latino voters in November will be slightly smaller than it's looked so far."

J.G. Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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