These data are fascinating. Although on the table you presented the Democrat advantage in November, 2008 was 7.6 and evidently on its way to 8.8 in December, nhwingut has the 2008 figure at 5.7 but perhaps he has a different source, although Rasmussen must be consistent one would think.
It is clear that the trend in party affiliation as polled by Rasmussen is unquestionably on the up swell for Republicans. The last headline from Rasmussen that I saw said that the Republicans were edging the Democrats in voter preference for Congress by one percentage point which seems to somehow confirm the trend.
Do we know what percentage Rasmussen is polling Republicans as distinguished from Democrats and independents? I thought I had heard that he was favoring Democrats by 2%? By his own numbers he should be favoring Republicans as at August (the last month on the chart) by 4.3% and, according to nhwingut 4.6% this month (October?).
I wish I knew how Rasmussen was adjusting his polling among Republicans, Democrats and independents? Failing that, we can take 4.6% away from most of the push-poll polling results to get close to a more accurate figure. My fear is that Rasmussen is already taking 4.6% away from Democrats and still coming up a point or two short for Romney.
The problem for me is that Rasmussen who is certainly aware of the 4.5% bulge for Republicans still does not record Romney ahead nor does he have Romney performing well in the electoral college which this bulge would almost certainly produce.
Notwithstanding this confusion, we can also be reassured that this trend is supported by the trends showing decreasing Democrat registration and increasing Republican registration in all of the swing states that register by party affiliation. Although the absolute numbers, except in Colorado, count against the Republicans the trend is toward Republicans which is indicative of intensity as well as party affiliation.