In Election 2000, Florida was the decisive state in the Electoral College. In 2004, Ohio was the ultimate battleground that put George W. Bush over the top. This year, it might come down to Wisconsin.
That's a state President Obama won by 14 points four years ago. But Wisconsin has gone through an amazing two years of nonstop campaigning since Gov. Scott Walker was elected in 2010. After he took on the teachers unions, there were efforts to recall several Republican state senators and then Walker himself.
The closer Election Day looms, the more often New York Times golden-boy Nate Silver is thrust from his Five-Thirty-Eight blog into the print edition with another poll analysis rallying the troops for Obama. In last Saturday's paper Silver, who has been optimistic about Obama's chances in the fact of rising poll numbers for Romney, dismissed results from Gallup's tracking poll showing wide leads for Romney in "Gallup vs. the World." He also boosted Obama in Tuesday's print edition: "We calculate Mr. Obama’s odds of re-election as being about two chances out of three."
On Friday the former Daily Kos poster wrote "Gaining Momentum, Whatever That Is," adapted from a blog post whose headline was more explicit: "In Polls, Romney’s Momentum Seems to Have Stopped."
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell badgered former RNC head Haley Barbour on Thursday's CBS This Morning on Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock's strongly pro-life stance, that even children conceived in rape are "God intended." Rose strongly hinted that the media firestorm surrounding Mourdock could affect the presidential race: "Romney may be gaining support among women. And the question arises, could this Mourdock controversy impact that?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
The CBS morning newscast stood out among its Big Three peers in significantly adding to the more than seven and half minutes of coverage from the previous day. The network devoted three minutes, 6 seconds to Mourdock, which is nearly three times the one minutes and 7 seconds that ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today set aside to the story combined.
Tarnished Silver? The New York Times's young star pollster Nate Silver got some guff last week for dismissing Mitt Romney's large leads in the Gallup tracking poll.
In an October 18 post on his FiveThirtyEight blog at nytimes.com, "Gallup vs. the World" (it also appeared, heavily edited, in print) Silver claimed the Gallup poll was overrated and "its results turn out badly" when it's an outlier, noting that in 2008 it "had a four-point miss," predicting an 11-point win by Obama that turned out to be a seven-point margin.
Guess what other big-time poll had Obama pegged as an 11-point winner in 2008? The New York Times-CBS News poll. Though to be fair, in 2008 Silver was not with the Times but writing for his own blog after cutting his political teeth at the left-wing blog Daily Kos (Silver calls himself a "rational progressive.")
On Tuesday, liberal stalwart NPR hyped a BBC World Service poll that found that "if the world picked U.S. president, election would be a blowout" for President Obama. Writer Eyder Peralta's item, which was the number-one most-viewed on its website, spotlighted that the poll "taken in 21 countries...found for the most part, foreign countries preferred Obama. The only exception was Pakistan where more people said they preferred Romney."
The BBC poll, conducted between July 3 and September 3, found that the most strongly pro-Obama country, to no one's shock, was France, with 72 percent of respondents supporting the incumbent Democrat. The second highest pro-Obama country was Australia, followed by Kenya, Nigeria, and Canada.
After a USA Today/Gallup poll showed women in swing states thought abortion the top election issue, CNN hyped the news and cast a wary eye toward "controversial" Republican positions as the possible catalysts. Five days later, however, Gallup reported that, nationally, abortion is near the bottom of importance among voters.
CNN hosts Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper led their October 18 shows with the swing state poll, and anchor Carol Costello touted it the next morning. Costello wondered if "controversial" statements by certain Republicans were to blame for women suddenly treating abortion with utmost importance.
NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham appeared on the Fox Business Channel's Varney & Co. earlier this morning to review how the liberal media spun last night's debate, and what to expect over the next two weeks.
Host Stuart Varney suggested media bias could not dislodge the pro-Romney trend now evident in the polls, but Graham offered a warning: "We could see some of the most aggressive bias to date coming in the next two weeks, if they [liberal reporters] really believe Obama is losing." [Video and transcript below the jump.]
You don't know whether to laugh or cry upon reading the Sunday night shots campaign Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen at Politico took at Mitt Romney and his campaign.
Maybe these guys really believe that the Romney campaign is the one which still desperately needs a "last chance to move the needle in any significant way in the swing states that will decide the election," and that "Obama is slightly better positioned in the states that will dictate the outcome." If they do, my take is that the Romney campaign is playing possum, and the Politico pair, infused with Beltway naiveté and skewed polling data, are gullibly buying it. Several paragraphs from their effort follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The New York Times' s acclaimed poll-meister Nate Silver has a reputation for statistical expertise, but he's getting some guff for dismissing Mitt Romney's recent large leads in the Gallup tracking poll.
Silver's Thursday evening post on his FiveThirtyEight blog at nytimes.com, "Gallup vs. the World" claimed that Gallup's "results are deeply inconsistent with the results that other polling firms are showing in the presidential race, and the Gallup poll has a history of performing very poorly when that is the case."
On Friday's CBS This Morning, John Dickerson was all too eager to pour cold water on the latest Gallup daily tracking poll that has Mitt Romney with a seven-point lead over President Obama: "There is a lot of debate about that...poll - whether it lags behind where the race really is....there's also other criticisms about...the way it looks at likely voters...it's a bit of an outlier from some other polls. So, if you're Mitt Romney, you like it, but we should, with all polls, be really, really skeptical."
The CBS political director raised no such objections back in mid-September, when the morning newscast spotlighted the same poll at a point where the two candidates were in a statistical dead heat, with Obama slightly ahead among both registered voters and swing state voters.
Jake Sherman at the Politico is suffering from the same detachment from reality I found his colleague Anna Palmer in this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog).
Palmer's piece asserted that an election win by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would herald the return of l-l-l-lobbyists, who have supposedly (not actually) been a rare presence in the pristine and pure Obama administration. Sherman's affliction is just as serious, if not moreso, as in an item posted Monday evening, he characterizes 2012 as a "non-Tea Party year," and seems to believe that everyone who disapproves of the job Congress has been doing must be to the left of House Speaker John Boehner. Hilarity follows the jump:
On Monday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd analyzed the state of the presidential race following a series of new national polls showing a slight Romney lead: "Well, look, the first debate really did sort of shift things....the numbers I've seen, and in talking to both campaigns, something shifted fundamentally."
However, only four days earlier, on Thursday's Today, Todd argued the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped," leading co-host Savannah Guthrie to conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact." That was as the ABC and CBS morning shows highlighted Romney's clear momentum.
On October 3, as Kyle Brennan's at NewsBusters noted the next day, NBC News political director Chuck Tood, appearing on CNBC, characterized presidential polls generated by Scott Rasmussen's polling group as "slop."
The specific quote: "We spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control....I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop." At the time, while many polls, including NBC's (done in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal), were showing Barack Obama with leads of four points or more nationally, Rasmussen was virtually alone Obama barely ahead and occasionally tied with Mitt RomneyChuck was clearly not pleased with that. Someone ought to ask Todd if his evaluation holds based on the results following the jump which were posted at Real Clear Politics early Friday morning.
While the ABC and CBS morning shows on Thursday focused on a tightening presidential race following Mitt Romney's winning performance in the first debate, on NBC's Today, political director Chuck Todd used the network's new swing state polling to argue that the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped." Prompting co-host Savannah Guthrie conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact."
In contrast, opening CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New polls show the race between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney is getting tighter." Similarly opening ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "High stakes and high pressure as new polls show Mitt Romney closing the gap in some key states."
Even though Rasmussen said he doesn't know Todd or follow his work and is happy to have the competition, host Megyn Kelly called the NBC correspondent's remark "mean" as she came to the pollster's defense.
Every election cycle, the American people are inundated with polls. Polls with blacks, white, Hispanics, women, Jews, Catholics, young people, and the Asians are disseminated ad nauseam – despite most of them being flawed or so skewed concerning the sample spread that it’s not worth commenting on in any analysis. When Romney hit a slump towards the end of September, which led to his dip in the polls, the left thought it was over. No one was more convinced of this than Pew Research president Andrew Kohut, a public-broadcasting regular, who had to change his tune on the October 8 broadcast of the PBS Newshour.
This presidential election, the reliability and fairness of pollsters has become a hot topic with both conservatives and liberals casting doubt on the accuracy of various polling firms. But what if the real problem with polling is more attributable to the people who respond to surveys than the polling companies themselves?
Thanks to a study examining the accuracy of polling, we now know that in some areas, surveys can be disturbingly inaccurate, in large part because people are willing to outright lie to a pollster. According to a report issued by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 60 percent of people who aren’t registered to vote will falsely claim to be registered.
On Wednesday’s Jansing & Co., MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing tried to establish that there is one question “we can all anticipate and not be surprised by,” and that is a question to Mitt Romney about the 47 percent comments, because it had a “very negative effect” on voters. Jim Lehrer must repeat Obama's TV ads in a question?
But what about the “other race speech” video of Obama from 2007? In perfect formation with the DNC line, Jansing asked disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather if that smacked of Republican desperation: [ video below the break, audio here ]
Reporting the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll numbers on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, political director Chuck Todd touted a rather obvious finding in the numbers, relentless media attacks on Mitt Romney have negatively affected how voters view the Republican nominee.
Todd proclaimed: "That 47% remark, it has left a mark, if you will. When we asked, 'Is there anything you've heard in the last few weeks that's made you more favorable or less favorable on Mitt Romney?', 51% said what they've heard has made them less favorable."
Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box on Wednesday, NBC News political director Chuck Todd launched into a rant attacking Rasmussen Reports polling: "We spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control....I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Joe Kernen challenged Todd: "[Rasmussen] was right, though, the last couple of elections." Todd shot back: "He got right at the end. It's what happens in the middle sometimes that seems a little bit – a little bit haywire."
In an item which talks about a "secret retreat" planned by eight senators which is so "secret" that it's getting a two-page story, the Politico's John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman write that "If polls stay steady, (House Speaker John) Boehner will be at the helm of a House filled with Republicans disappointed that Obama will have another four years in the White House."
Uh, last time I checked, pollsters' results can hold steady or go in whatever cooked or uncooked directions they wish, and they still won't determine the outcome of the election. Ballots by voters and the presumably accurate inclusion and counting of such ballots will. Besides, as will be shown, there are even more valid reasons to question poll results now than in the past. Several paragraphs from the rest of B&S's BS, which is apparently designed to get the country ready to accept "revenue" (i.e., tax) increases, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post).
There’s that clichéd saying of “where’s there smoke, there’s fire.” Some in the media should have heeded that advice since a plurality of Americans sees a bias in the polling conducted between President Obama and Governor Romney. Oh, and, by the way, this information comes from a Daily Kos/SEIU poll, so it's hardly a right-wing source. Justin Sink of The Hill wrote today that:
The media were all atwitter Monday over a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finding President Obama eleven points ahead of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in key swing states.
Within 90 minutes of the Post's Jennifer Rubin exposing that the margin of error in the poll was - wait for it! - an astonishing eight points, the paper felt the need to publish a new piece explaining the whole thing.
Let's see. Who has the bigger problem with Libya and the Middle East? Is it the guy who's in charge with a foreign policy in disarray who has described the first murder of a U.S. ambassador in 33 years a "bump in the road"? Or his presidential campaign challenger Mitt Romney?
If we're to believe Mike Allen, Jim Vandehei, and Politico, it's Romney, where "Romney advisers at odds over Libya" was the only thing visible on my computer screen when I went to the web site's home page at 10 p.m. ET. You have to go almost all the way to the bottom of the home page to see stories about how "at odds" Obama administration advisers have been and still are about the U.S. positions on Libya, terrorism, Israel, and the Middle East during the past several weeks. Several paragraphs from the Romney story, wherein one learns that there really isn't much in the way of conflict, accompanied by yet another round of "the polls say Romney's doomed," follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Bill Maher isn’t scowling at conservatives on his HBO show right now, but on his blog, he has a new character on the political scene to attack: pollster Scott Rasmussen.
In Maher’s brain, conservatives are reality-deniers who live in the “Fox-Rush-Drudge” bubble who won’t listen to opposing views. "Because wingnuts can go for months and not talk to anyone who doesn’t think Obama is a bigger threat to America than Al Qaeda with airborne AIDS, but that’s because they live in rural Tennessee, and inside the information bubble.” Polls are the only political reality to snap them out of it – until Rasmussen came along and “deluded” them with poll results that disagree with the “mainstream” mob:
The facts show a similar trend in a pro-Democratic direction almost uniformly. Historically speaking, pollsters have underestimated how many people would vote for the Republican presidential candidate:
Rush Limbaugh brought up an important matter relating to polling Friday, which even beyond what is already known about party affiliation from Rasmussen and Gallup, further supports the notion that performing presidential preference polls based on 2008 presidential turnout is fundamentally flawed.
Read it below, because you can virtually bet what's left of the value of your home that you won't see this item mentioned anywhere in the establishment press, even though its ultimate source is a liberal group:
Leading off Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Savannah Guthrie declared the presidential race in one key battleground state all but over: "Tonight, both candidates are in Ohio as a spate of new polls shows the all-important bellwether may be slipping away for the Republican challenger."
In the report that followed, correspondent Ron Allen reiterated that "new polls show Ohio slipping away" from Romney and quickly asserted the cause: "Romney down by ten points in a new poll out this morning, and nearly that in another recent poll, after that video of Romney talking disparagingly about the 47% who pay no income tax."
Veteran pollster Dick Morris who has worked for politicians of both parties has joined the fray in discussing recent polling featuring unusually large numbers of Democrats proportionate to Republicans.
Those polls produce doubtful results, not because they are being skewed to include more Democrats but because they are being artificially skewed to more resemble a 2012 electorate model. While most of the pollsters are refusing to weight their results against a party ID poll, according to Morris they are artificially weighting them according to various age and racial demographics:
Norah O'Donnell was ready to tie the toe tag on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, as the morning newscast hyped the latest numbers from the Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll, especially President Obama's 10-point lead in Ohio. After mentioning Romney's latest 60-second TV spot, O'Donnell twice wondered, "Is it too late? The voting in Ohio starts next week."
Charlie Rose spotlighted the President's "growing lead" in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, according to his network's poll. But it took the program more than an hour to mention only in passing that "Republican voters remain more enthusiastic about voting than the Democrats," without mentioning the specific numbers.