Perhaps the most interesting property of the new Pew poll isn't a statistic, but a date. The poll, which finds Obama commanding an 8 point lead over Romney, was concluded on September 16--the day before Mother Jones dropped its video dime on the challenger.
Might Pew be revealing a double-digit Obamian lead had the poll been taken post-video? Probably not. I appreciate that the left's Ed Schultzes interpret every hidden-video blockbuster as the final thermonuclear blast in the Republican Party's total meltdown--older and middle-aged whites everywhere, especially men, and especially the toothless rubes among them, will suddenly experience a vaporous horror at the mendacious folly to which they've been ruggedly loyal and thus just as suddenly rush to volunteer for Adam Green's Progressive Change Campaign Committee--but partisan polarization is what it is. My guess is that we'll see only small, Obama-favored shifts in the polling to come; but hell, once Romney's deficit reaches 8 points, who really cares?
In Related Polling News, yesterday Nate Silver re-ran the odds from cell-phone-included polling only ("there is reasonably strong empirical evidence," notes Silver, "that the failure to include them in polls can bias the results against Democrats"), and came up with this:
[T]his version of the model gives Mr. Obama an 83 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, a full 10 percentage points higher than the 73 percent chance that the official FiveThirtyEight forecast gave him as of Monday night.
Still, I imagine the commentariat's Elmer Fudd Brigade won't yet disband, because they're a hardy bunch who've guns, religion and partisan polarization to cling to, as prognosticative models. This wace is cwose, vewy vewy cwose.