Mitt Romney’s Gallup daily tracking poll numbers are now better than any presidential challenger dating back to 1936.The Gallup daily tracking poll of likely voters released on October 26 shows Mr. Romney leading Barack Obama 51% to 46%. Mr. Romney holds the lead in the nine elections since 1936 in which either an incumbent president was defeated or there was no incumbent. Tied for second are Mr. Obama (2008) and George H.W. Bush (1992) with 50% at this point in the race, followed by John F. Kennedy (1960), Jimmy Carter (1980) and George W. Bush (2000) with 49%, Dwight D. Eisenhower with 48% (1952), Richard M. Nixon with 44% (1968), Bill Clinton with 40% (1992) and finally Ronald Reagan who actually trailed Jimmy Carter in 1980 with 39% to Carter’s 45%.
Demographically the country hasn’t changed in a few years, naturally, but the difference between 2008 and 2012 is in the TEA party. The TEA party happened, dictated the 2010 elections, and has now resulted in a large partisan ID and registration shift in this country since.
When Rasmussen Reports noted this, and showed it in polling, Nate Silver and his followers scoffed. Just as they did in  when Rasmussen was first to predict the TEA party driven Republican wave, they criticized and insulted the firm that was first to what turned out to be the facts.
Now Gallup is in the game, and the numbers are brutal. In 2008, the Democrats had a 39-29 (D+10) advantage in hard party ID, and a 54-42 (D+12) advantage with leaners. In 2012 though, we’re in the post-TEA party era. Republicans now show a 36-35 (R+1) hard party ID advantage, and a 49-46 (R+3) lead with leaners. This gives us a range of party ID swings from 2008, from R+11 to R+15.