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CBS/Quinnipiac Swing State Poll Deserves a Kick in the Asterisk

CBS/Quinnipiac have released a poll of likely voters in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio today that purports to show that President Obama has reached 50% in all three swing states, and leads Mitt Romney in all of them by several points.

The poll finds Obama leading in Florida by 51-44. That's a gaudy number, but take a look at the crosstabs and we find that the poll used a sample that gave Democrats a 37-26 partisan advantage. Four years ago, Florida gave Democrats a three point advantage. But two years ago, Florida elected Republican Marco Rubio to the US Senate. An eleven-point advantage for the Democrats in Florida in 2012 is extremely unlikely.

Same story in Ohio. President Obama is campaigning there today, where he is greeted by layoffs in the Brilliant, OH coal mine that are his fault. Obama's regulations forced the layoffs. The CBS/Quinnipiac poll finds Obama with a 50-44 lead in Ohio, but the crosstabs reveal more weighting shenanigans. The poll goes in giving Democrats a 35-27 advantage. Eight points, CBS? Really?

The poll does a little better in Pennsylvania, only giving the Democrats a 38-32% advantage.

Taken all together, we have a swing state poll that appears to have been engineered to give the impression that President Obama is pulling away from Mitt Romney in three vital swing states.