I am floored by the quality of the Election 2008 Tracker, which is not only comprehensive and fair, but also more accessible than similar trackers on other blogs. I am, however, disappointed that the aggregate numbers include Rasmussen – which often “finds” that arbitrary candidates have impossibly high support (ie: Thompson in the GOP field, early June 07). The cats at Rasmussen have also leaned decidedly right for as long as I can remember. As Jonothan Singer recently documented, they have tracked Bush’s approval rating solidly three to four points higher than national non-partisan averages.
You can find a graph of this phenomenon here.
I think another important caveat to consider in observing such national aggregates are the differences in the identities of states with early primaries. After looking at campaign spending, I think Democrats appreciate the momentum New Hampshire provides more than Republicans. I get the feeling that we might have a Democratic nominee pretty early, but that the GOP might fight it out until Super(duper) Tuesday. I hope that happens, because it will probably invite networks to pay closer attention / extend convention coverage.
Please also note that Romney’s surge has been done quietly and expertly. I smell a nominee.