Mark Blumenthal of answers the question of what pollsters are doing at this point in the election cycle, which includes watching the generic ballot trend. He includes a quote from Glen Bolger’s blog post explaining the significance of the recent NPR poll results.

Over at the Public Opinion Strategies blog TQIA, Glen Bolger explains the significance of the result from the Republican perspective:

After four years of horrendous generic ballot numbers, the data is consistently showing improvement. The latest Public Opinion Strategies national survey, taken April 7-9, 2009 among 800 likely voters, has the generic ballot deficit at 39% Republican/42% Democratic. These data are pretty consistent with what most public polls have been showing in March and now April — the generic ballot ranges anywhere from tied to a five point Democratic advantage.

What’s remarkable about these results (other, of course, than the fact that Republicans are back to being competitive for the first time since 2004) is that the GOPer is close on the generic ballot DESPITE the Dems still significant advantage on party ID. This survey found an eight point party ID deficit — 33% say they are GOPers, while 41% are Dems, and 24% are Independents (2% refused/don’t know combined).

The Republican State Leadership Committee’s State News Shot includes an excerpt of another one of Glen’s posts on the generic ballot trend here.

Phillip Brasher of the Des Moines Register quotes Bill McInturff in an article about soft drink makers’ advocate and American Beverage Association President Susan Neely working to improve the availability of healthy beverage choices in schools.

But Bill McInturff, a pollster who has worked with Neely since the Harry and Louise campaign, said she’s an effective leader for the soft-drink business because she understands a key audience: “moderation moms,” relatively affluent women who want to protect their kids’ health while still letting them have some drinks and sweets. She also has an unusual combination of personal charm, listening skills, patience, drive and acumen at public communication, he says.

She’s needed those attributes not only to work with critics in Congress but also to get her association’s member companies, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi, to agree to limit the sales of their iconic products. That required “a massive culture change” for the industry, McInturff said.

The guidelines, which are removing the companies’ flagship brands from schools, grew out of polling that McInturff did for the association shortly after Neely took the helm in 2005. When the results showed that mothers overwhelmingly didn’t want soft drinks sold at school to children younger than age 15, that restriction had to be part of the guidelines, Neely said.

Howey Politics Indiana discusses the Public Opinion Strategies poll about tax caps in Indiana here.

Public Opinion Strategies