Political junkies, partisans, journalists and involved voters take note: you now have a new webpage that you’ll be checking over and over. Take a Peek at Talking Points Memo’s new “Polltracker”— and you will become addicted. Josh Marshall announces:
Today we’re announcing the official release of the 2012 edition of PollTracker.com, TPM Media’s proprietary poll aggregating, averaging and charting application. It’s quite simply the best place on the web to find all the latest polls, averages of the races that you’re following and beautiful, interactive charts that help you visualize what’s happening in a race and where it’s likely to be going…
This is the fourth election cycle for PollTracker, starting with the 2006 campaign. It’s dramatically upgraded for 2012 with new charting technology, a more refined tracking and averaging methodology and a handy presidential dashboard that brings together in one place all the key data to keep on top of the race.
PollTracker tracks the presidential race, every congressional and gubernatorial race and select state referenda and issue questions. We also have favorability and approval data for most major political figures around the country.
Political junkies will want to add this to their MUST BOOKMARK poll sites. Aside from the pollsters, these the other MUST READS include these three:
—Real Clear Politics which has this poll aggregation page and a slew of other excellent ones. As of today this shows the race narrowing, with President Barack Obama on the descent and GOPer Mitt Romney on the ascent.
—The Huffington Post’s Pollster, which has a variety of excellent poll pages including a poll aggregation page.
When Marshall mentions methodology, keep that word in mind. It means partisans on both sides that don’t like a poll can talk about how the metholdology was bad if a poll makes their side look bad and then about how great the methodology is and how accurate it is when it favors them. (If you don’t believe me, just follow political posts and stories: when does a partisan EVER question the methodology of a poll he or she likes?)
Analysts will tell you over and over: you don’t get a real sense where a race is going by just one poll. For instance, many conservative sites will run mostly polls by Rasmussen, which some say is more GOP oriented, and sometimes ignore the other ones. By going to sites such as TPM’s Polltracker, reading Silver, visiting Real Clear Politics and Pollster you get a much better idea of where the race actually is. But — to be sure — that isn’t what some partisans want in an election cycle since it doesn’t fit into their spin.