Free Markets, Free People

likely voters

New Pew Poll puts Romney in the lead. WaPo questions poll’s validity

Funny stuff.  All of us out here who have been questioning the accuracy of various presidential polls and being called “poll truthers” (lord help you if you question the establishment or authority) now see a poll that favors the GOP candidate being called into question by none other than the Washington Post.

The Pew Research Center for the Public and the Press released a poll that puts Mitt Romney in the lead for the first time in their polling (Rasmussen also released a poll with Romney in the lead).

The Pew poll keys off the first debate, Romney’s big win and says:

In turn, Romney has drawn even with Obama in the presidential race among registered voters (46% to 46%) after trailing by nine points (42% to 51%) in September. Among likely voters, Romney holds a slight 49% to 45% edge over Obama. He trailed by eight points among likely voters last month.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7 among 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters (1,112 likely voters), finds that 67% of Romney’s backers support him strongly, up from 56% last month. For the first time in the campaign, Romney draws as much strong support as does Obama.

“Likely voters”, as we’ve mentioned in the past, is the key demographic.  Forget registered voters.  Among likely voters, Pew is recording a 12 point swing.  That’s pretty significant.  You can hit the Pew link to go through all the particulars.

So what’s WaPo’s disagreement with the poll? Well they don’t really “disagree” so much as imply there might be a problem with the poll’s makeup (you know, the same thing we “poll truthers” have been talking about for months):

That pesky party ID question: The Pew sample for this poll was 36 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 30 percent independent.  That’s a major shift from the organization’s September poll which was 29 percent Republican, 39 percent Democratic and 30 percent independent.  In the 2010 election, the electorate was 36 percent Republican, 36 percent Democratic and 27 percent independent, according to exit polling. In 2008, 39 percent of the electorate identified as Democrats while 32 percent said they were Republicans and 29 percent said they were independents.

So in this poll, Pew was R+5.  That’s different than the D+8 they ran in September.  There’s you 12 point shift.  Of course in 2010, they were completely wrong calling the D/R split even.  Republicans ran a historic blow out during that election taking 60 seats in the House.  In 2008, they were probably slightly undercounting self-identified Democrats.  But not this time as Pew points out in their survey.  Enthusiasm among GOP voters is up.  It isn’t up among Democrats.  And that, one supposes, is the Pew justification for plussing the GOP on this poll.

September polls are notoriously inaccurate.  Polling companies, at least those who want to continue to be taken seriously, refine their models as they approach an election.  This poll appears to be an example of that.  As should be obvious to anyone who pays attention, the excitement, support and enthusiasm Obama enjoyed in 2008 doesn’t exist in this election, at least not anywhere to the degree it did then.  That means the ratios have changed.  Whether or not R+5 is the correct weight polls should give the GOP vote remains to be seen, but it certainly makes a lot more sense than D+8, the number we “poll truthers” were questioning all along.

~McQ
Twitter: @McQandO
Facebook: QandO

Media bias? Majority of likely voters say yes

This can’t help the mainstream media’s already battered reputation or it’s constant claim of objective political reporting:

Likely voters, by a five-to-one margin, believe that America’s media is in President Obama’s pocket and will treat his candidacy better than challenger Mitt Romney’s as the election nears, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

The startling numbers point to an even more disturbing trend for the media: Reporters just aren’t trusted to deliver the news in an unbiased fashion. The proof: Rasmussen found that when it comes to information about the presidential campaign, 48 percent of likely voters trust friends and family while just 26 percent trust reporters.

In fact, it’s even worse than those two lead paragraphs in the story:

The poll found that 59 percent of likely voters believe that the media has given Obama better treatment than Romney, a view Team Obama doesn’t agree with. Just 18 percent believe the media has treated Romney better.

Whether or not “Team Obama” agrees is irrelevant.  In politics, perception is reality.  And the reality is a large majority of likely voters (the key demographic) find the media both bias and wanting in terms of fair, objective and balanced political reporting.

So what is the impact of this?

Well, for one, tuning the media out.  Few people are likely to keep listening to or watching coverage don’t trust.  One of the reasons for the rise of the new media is it provides an important “other side” to the coverage of politics.

Despite their protestations to the contrary, the mainstream media has been unable to convince almost 60% of the likely voters they’re unbiased and trustworthy.  That has to come from somewhere when you talk those numbers.  And it is unlikely it is only a figment of that 60%’s imagination.  They see the bias as real and they don’t like it or trust what they consider the biased outlets.

If you’re wondering why CNN’s numbers are at an all time low or why newspapers are failing this is part of it.  Meanwhile the new media is thriving.  It may not be objective, but readers and viewers know that, because new media outlets make no bones about it.  What these outlets provide is “the rest of the story”.  And when the rest of the story comes out, and all the facts are on the table, not just what the mainstream media chose to use,  it makes the mainstream medias bias apparent.

Another reason the mainstream media is considered to be in Obama’s pocket is that instead of asking hard questions and follow up, and researching a story, they’ve become a transcription service.  Whatever the campaign or White House put out is dutifully published or announced with little or any questioning.  When that is shot full of holes by blogs and on-line news services and pundits, they again look to be biased (when, in many cases, they’re just not doing their job).

The question, of course, is with almost 60% of likely voters believing that the mainstream media is in Obama’s pocket, what effect will that have on the election.

In the past the media has, of course, played a large role in helping determine who the next president would be.  Will the 60% disregard and ignore the media?   Will they treat it as a propaganda arm of the campaign and seek their information elsewhere?  Because of the perception held by a majority of the likely voters, will the media play a diminished role in this election?

All interesting and entertaining questions which we’ll have to monitor during this election cycle. 

I remember years ago, after QandO got started and blogs began having some visibility and impact, media organizations sniffing down their arrogant noses at these upstarts who dared to question their dominance and reminding everyone the difference between some loser in the basement in his pajamas churning out his stuff and a professional organization, with trained journalists and 3 layers of editors.

Well as it turns out, that difference hasn’t mattered.  The pajama clad are still around (and pretty well established now) and the professional organizations with trained journalists and 3 layers of editors have seen their reputations and followings dwindle.

You’d think, by now, they’d be clued into the ‘why’, but apparently its like economics to the left – it just doesn’t compute.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Facebook: QandO

Voters not impressed with OWS … Obama on wrong side again?

The Hill just published a poll of likely voters.  The findings pretty much reflect what I’ve believed about the so-called “99%” protest.

Voters are unimpressed and the attempt to deflect attention from Washington to corporate America isn’t, at least to this point, working:

The Hill poll found that only one in three likely voters blames Wall Street for the country’s financial troubles, whereas more than half — 56 percent — blame Washington.

Moreover, when it comes to the political consequences of the protest, voters tend to believe that there are more perils than positives for Obama and the Democrats.

Of course that’s the double edged sword and the risk the Obama campaign takes trying to embrace this (while also attempting to keep some distance) supposed grass roots movement.

And, as the more radical groups attempt to join as well (see this photo essay for an example), the folks in flyover country are going to get even more turned off. 

Personal observation, but it just seems to me the radical left just hasn’t had much to protest about since Bush left office.  The anti-war movement (of which most of these groups showing up for OWS were a part) melted away when Obama took office.  He even started a third war and not a peep.

There will obviously be those who try to compare this to the Tea Party movement, but those comparisons will fall flat.  This is just the left looking for an excuse for the usual suspects to do what they do best – protest.  And, despite all the effort by the media to paint the OWS as something other than that is only going to prove the voters are a bit more sophisticated than the spin artists believe.  

This poll points out that while OWS has indeed built notoriety, it may not be the sort of notoriety that a politician would want to embrace.  Likely voters in the poll said it may not end up being a positive for those who latch on. 

Watch carefully as this develops.  Prepare for the old “rats deserting a sinking ship” rush when it starts to go south.

And it will go south.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO