This is worse than bad, it’s obscene.
Romney has gained 3 points since the last time CNN ran its poll, in late September, when Obama led 50%-47%. That is good news for the Republican ticket, especially since the poll was conducted after Hurricane Sandy.
Yet there is something odd–and even ridiculous–in the poll’s sample: of the 693 likely voters in the total sample of 1,010 adults polled, “41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans.”
In other words, the poll is a D+11 outlier. It presents a picture of an electorate that is far more pro-Obama than it was in the historic 2008 election. That is extremely unlikely.
Moreover, the polls’s crosstabs indicate that Romney is winning self-described independent voters by a giant 59%-37% margin. A 22-point lead among independents virtually guarantees victory for Romney. Yet Democrats are so heavily over-represented in the CNN poll that Romney’s 22-point lead becomes a mere 49%-49% tie.
I’d suggest that his margin among independents suggest this is going to be a massive Republican victory.
Some Democrats have argued that their party will still show up to the polls in significantly greater strength than Republicans–either because of the increased presence of Latino voters, who currently favor the Democrats; or because, they argue, many of the voters that say they are independent are really disgruntled Republicans.
But none of these explanations points towards a Democrat turnout exceeding that of 2008, which the CNN poll assumes. Republicans are far more motivated, and Democrats are somewhat less motivated, in 2012.
And it is absurd to suggest anything else. Obama’s supporters can at best claim (unconvincingly) that he kept things from getting worse. Certainly the anti-war crowd isn’t going to rush out and vote for him, and even the Sandy situation is counting against Obama as people wait in vain for help.
The idea that Democrats are motivated just doesn’t hold water.
On the other hand, Republicans believe strongly that Obama has been a terrible president. They point to… well just see my last post and it’s “part 1″ for reasons! The Tea Party got conservatives riled up like never before.
In fact, we’re seeing the first election for quite a while where conservatives are a whole lot more motivated than Democrats.
And yet the poll, absurd though it is, shows that Romney will be able to overcome even a staggering partisan disadvantage, and that he will win the independent voters who typically decide elections.
And then there’s the early polling numbers coming out of Ohio, the Democrats are inadvertently admitting are true:
For those without video: Chris Wallace points out that early voting in Ohio kind of, well, sucks for the Democrats – as in, ACCORDING TO THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN (this is important), it’s at the point where the net gain for the Republicans will wipe out Obama’s 2008 margin of victory in Ohio. This is important because Republicans traditionally do better on Election Day voters than Democrats; if that holds true (which is quietly conceded by pretty much everyone), then Ohio is going to go for Romney.
Get that? The numbers suggest strongly that Romney has already wiped out Obama’s lead during voting which usually favours Democrats. So when polling day proper arrives, instead of having a mild deficit to make up to win, Romney will simply increase his lead.
I don’t know if this will turn into a bloodbath. It’s possible.
We’ll know for sure very soon.