I’ve been harping on the lousy polls for weeks, but Mike Flynn sums it up nicely:
In 2008, the electorate that elected Barack Obama was 39% Democrat, 32% GOP and 29% Independent. This is what we call a D+7 electorate. Obama defeated McCain by 7 points, the same margin. In 2004, the electorate was 37% Democrat, 37% Republican, and 26% Independent, in other words D/R +0. Bush defeated John Kerry by 3 points nationally.
Yet, virtually every big media poll is based on a model where Democrats equal or increase their share of the electorate over 2008. Beyond simple common sense, there are many reasons this won’t happen. The Dem vote in 08 was the largest in decades. It came after fatigue of 8 years of GOP control, two unpopular wars, a charming Democrat candidate who was the Chauncy Gardner of politics, a vessel who could hold everyone’s personal dreams and hopes for a politician. It was a perfect storm for Democrats.
None of the factors driving Democrat turnout in 08 exist today. Recent polls from AP, Politico and the daily tracking polls from Rasmussen and Gallup, all of whom assume relatively lower Democrat turnout in November show the race essentially tied. Only those polls showing an electorate with equal or greater numbers of Democrats show Obama with any sizable lead.
Yet, its these polls that are driving the political narrative. [Emphasis added]
Here’s how it works. MSM-affiliated polling organization presents biased poll to MSM. MSM then reports the numbers with all of its experienced gravity. Voters watch MSM, assume gravity means polls are correct. And most years, as Flynn notes, they are.
It’s like voting “present” in the Illinois state Senate. Most of your constituents won’t know (or much care) what that means, but it lets a state Senator avoid unpopular votes while offending no one and maintain the illusion of being hard at work. And since few people understand it (or much care about it), that makes it difficult for your opponent to making the “voting present” argument stick. In fact, the closest anyone has come to doing so was Clint Eastwood and his empty chair at the RNC — and the MSM absolutely belly flopped on top of Eastwood to make people forget him, ignore him, or dismiss him.
Which brings us back to the polls. Cross tabs? D+7? Voter self-ID? Few people understand these things, and even fewer care. Most people look at the headline number — Obama up eleventy in Texas! — and resign themselves to FORE MOAR YEARZ.
Don’t be those people.