But let's take a closer look:
|Georgia Senate Runoff Polls (as of Nov. 24)|
|Public Policy Polling||52||46||+6|
|Research 2000/Daily Kos||51||45||+6|
|Research 2000/Daily Kos||49||46||+3|
First of all, the four polls that we have access to move chronologically from bottom to top, wi the most recent poll at the top. Importantly, Chambliss is over 50% in three of the four polls. [Better late than never, I suppose. Though, I'd be willing to bet the Senator would have preferred to have gone ahead an cleared that bar three weeks ago.] That's important in a two person race because one of the candidates is beyond that point before the undecideds are factored in, that candidate is in a great position. Recall that we discussed the importance of Obama's position above that 50% threshold with more than a month left in the presidential race. With time so compressed in runoff race, though, being above that point matters.
But let's give these polls the old graduated weighted average treatment. The idea is that the more recent a poll is, the more weight it carries. The most recent poll gets a full weighting while the past polls are discounted based on the midpoint that the poll was in the field. In other words, a poll a week ago means less than a poll that was released a day ago. There is one slight alteration that I've made to the average because of the small number of post-election polls and in recognition of the limited amount of time in which they can be conducted: The weighting on the past polls is left as is instead of being halved as it was in the context of the electoral college (where polls from February were still being included).
The basic result is that Chambliss has gained a point at the expense of Jim Martin. Chambliss averages 50.8% of the support across these four polls to Martin's 45.7%. The average margin between the two is at 5.11 points in Chambliss' direction. And that is an awful lot of ground for Jim Martin to cover in a week.
...in a low turnout runoff election.
...when early voting doesn't appear favorable.
Georgia Senate Runoff: Early Voting (Day 5 & The Weekend)
Georgia Senate Runoff: Early Voting (Day 4)
Georgia Senate Runoff: Early Voting (Day 3)