Straight data from the polls don’t tell whole story, hides Romney’s advantage

“For three decades we’ve sought to solve the problem of unemployment through government planning and the more the plans fail the more the planners plan. A government can’t control the economy without controlling people and they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”

Ronald Reagan won in 1980 not just despite the predictions of the liberal elite, but conservatives might say in spite of them. As Joe Scarborough points out,  Obama is leading most polls, but that doesn’t mean the election should be called for the incumbent just yet.

Nate Silver will have you believe that the tight national popular vote data is a reflection of Obama’s relative weakness in his base. In other words, states he is expected to win handily, he’ll win by a little less,  but if you go state by state, Obama will still win.

That would be fine if I believed the polls.

There are poll “truthers” out there who believe the polls are purposely being skewed to favor the president. I don’t think that’s the case, but rather I think that the methodology being used by a number of entities is wildly flawed.

Real Clear Politics has the race at a dead heat, with neither candidate getting above 48% of the vote – this is based on polling data so the numbers don’t always, and frankly rare do, add up to 100%. That’s bad news for Barack Obama, the sitting president, because late deciders tend not to vote for incumbents.

If you were going to support the incumbent, the thinking goes, you’d have done it already. Since 1980, incumbents have seen their leads shrink following the final polls, not grow. Even though many incumbents still won, it was by a considerably closer margin than even local polls had predicted.

But if you look closer at the data, you’ll find Mitt Romney with a decided advantage. The latest NBC/WSJ poll has Obama up 48% to 47%, with that ceiling number of ’48’ appearing over and over for President Obama.

The partisan breakdown of this poll is 41% Republican, 43% Democrat. Based on comprehensive surveys completed by both Gallup and Rasmussen polling, the electorate by party identification is going to look much more like 2004 than 2008 which means the partisan split will be about even. Rasmussen, in fact, predicts a Republican +1.2 split. If that happens, Romney wins the popular vote by about 3% and there’s just no way Barack Obama will win the electoral college with just 47% of the national vote.

That’s on the low end of the potential swing. As Real Clear Politics explains, the R +11 swing from 2008 shows (the low end of the predicted swing) that Romney should actually win fairly handily tomorrow.

Underscoring that point is the fairly decided advantage Romney has on the economy among likely voters, which is their top priority by a heavy margin. Furthermore, Romney continues to win among independent voters, by as many as 20 points in some polls. To believe that winning independents and being the strongest on the major issue of the election isn’t enough in a race that even liberals call a dead heat is to simply be blinded by partisan ideology.

Mitt Romney can win tomorrow. There are plenty of formulas that say he will win. The issues say he should win.

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One thought on “Straight data from the polls don’t tell whole story, hides Romney’s advantage

  1. […] detailed the argument right before the election. And if the electorate had looked like Rasmussen and Gallup […]

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