Fact Check on Those PollsPosted by Dr Snyder on July 12th, 2012
The presidential race is a dead heat. That’s what two new polls say. Polls, though, are only as good as the samples they use. For instance, those two new polls—one from the Washington Post/ABC and the other from Reuters—have a rather strange mix of respondents. When you do a poll on something this political, you need to have a sample that mirrors the electorate as closely as possible. Yet both of these polls show a nine-point advantage to those who identify as Democrats. That is absurdly skewed. Even in the bellwether Democrat year of 2008, the difference was only seven points. And if you take more recent history, such as the 2010 congressional elections, the skewering is even worse, nearly ludicrous, because the percentage was even or slightly more Republican during that election cycle.
These are not isolated incidents for these “estimable” polls. Reuters and Washington Post/ABC have a history of oversampling Democrats and undersampling both Republicans and independents. Incidentally, those polls do show that Obama is losing independents by 14 points. If that group had been given its proper weighting in the polls, along with a more balanced Democrat/Republican sample, guess who would be leading? One is tempted to conclude that both of these polling organizations are little more than extensions of the Obama campaign.
Why is this important? Uninformed voters will be influenced by these numbers. Unfortunately, as I’ve noted many times, too many voters vote with their emotions, not from a genuinely informed basis. What Obama has going against him, however, is the awful state of the economy. You’re not hearing much any more about summers of recovery. That’s a laugh line nowadays, in light of continuing dismal jobs reports, so not as many people are buying into the propaganda.
Instead, we’re going to be treated to a rising crescendo of class warfare rhetoric—so brace yourself. We’re also going to see the campaign get quite personal as the attacks on Romney will go beyond policy into innuendo about conspiracies, but that might backfire:
When questioned about the economy or any of his failed policies, the president will attempt to change the subject:
Only an informed, principled, and motivated electorate can ensure these tactics don’t succeed. I’m not sure how many of the electorate fit into that category, but I remain hopeful.