For month after month, through bad economic news and good economic news, through debate after debate, Gallup has been tracking public opinion of President Barack Obama and then his Republican rival for the White House, Mitt Romney.
That stops tonight, thanks to Hurricane Sandy.
Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport issued this statement today about his tracking that produces a seven-day rolling average:
“Gallup has suspended polling for its daily tracking as of Monday night and will reassess on a day-to-day basis. The ultimate effect on the overall picture of polling between now and this weekend, including election polling, will depend on what happens as a result of the storm, about which we will have a better understanding of on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.”
With the last report in from Gallup today, the contest between Obama and Romney was tied at 48 percent apiece among registered voters, and Romney held a five-point advantage, 51-46 percent, among likely voters.
That 48-48 is looking like what the other polls in the field are finding, with an ABC Washington Post tracking poll putting the race at 49 Romney, 48 Obama among likely voters for the past three days, and late today at 49-49, and the Pew Research Center today reporting a 47-47 tie.
The last take on Obama’s job approval — 51 percent — was up three points in a three-day average of the Gallup tracking — nothing like the 67 percent approval that Obama enjoyed at his peak, in his second month in office, at the start of a long Gallup track.
The full post-Sandy seven-day average on the presidential election will take some time to measure, as Newport notes.
Then again, the only poll that counts, Sandy plus seven, will be taken on Election Day, Nov. 6.
And 51 percent approval would suit Obama fine.