Jim Geraghty interviewed GOP pollster John McLaughlin about the crazy polls this year, which are crazy like a fox:
On what a realistic partisan breakdown would look like: The 2004 national exit polls showed an even partisan turnout and Bush won 51-48. Had it been the +4 Democratic edge of 2000, John Kerry would have been President. 2008 was a Democratic wave that gave them a +7 partisan advantage. 2010 was a Republican edge. There’s no wave right now. There are about a dozen swing states where in total millions of voters who voted in 2008 for Obama are gone or have not voted since. There are also hundreds of thousands of voters in each of several swing states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, and others who voted from rural, exurban or suburban areas in 2004 for Bush who did not vote in 2008, because they were not excited by McCain or thought he would lose. They are currently planning to vote mainly as a vote against President Obama.”
That last bit hardly plays into the Democrats’ RAAAAACIST meme. Obama being black wasn’t enough to get them to the polls last time around, but the Democrats sure are worried about them coming out to vote against fore more years of job-killing vile progressivism.
Most interesting was McLaughlin’s assertion that “there’s no wave right now.” It’s interesting because we have a professional pollster confirming something I wrote about recently:
At this point, the thing maybe moving most against Mitt Romney is political exhaustion. 2006 was a midterm wave election. 2008 was another wave, this time in the biggest-ever presidential election year. 2010 was yet another wave election — the unprecedented third in a row.
Can Americans summon the energy for a fourth wave election in just six years?
We’re at the point or soon will be, where if Romney is going to pull this thing out, he has to start moving more of Obama’s 2008 state gains back into the R column. If there’s no wave, that’s more difficult to accomplish.
But we measure a wave but reading the polls, and the polls are crazy. On Twitter the other day, Nate Silver wrote, “The. Polls. Have. Stopped. Making. Any. Sense. Whatsoever.” Or something very close to that — I forgot to bookmark the tweet. Nate has great models, but at this point even his are deep into GIGO territory.
So is there a wave or not?
All I can offer is anecdata, which might be as a reliable an indicator as we’re likely to get in this silly season of rigged polls. The data here in Colorado look good for Romney. In terms of yard signs, Romney is all over the place in exactly the way John McCain wasn’t. This is in an area heavy with Evangelicals, so if you’re worried Romney can’t get their vote — don’t be. I’ve seen exactly one Obama signed, festooned with an American flag on each side, as if to reassure the neighbors that they aren’t really America-hating vile progs.
The bumper sticker war is similarly lopsided, again in stark contrast to 2008. Oddly, I’m more likely to see Obama-Biden 2008 than Obama-Biden 2012. Sometimes the hope dies hard, and the change never came.
I’m hearing from frustrated local GOP voters. They’re frustrated at all the damn-near-push-polling calls they’re getting — and this is in Colorado Springs. This looks to me like a telecom part of Operation Demoralize, because I’m not hearing complains like these from anyone in Democrat-friendly Denver or Boulder.
But is there a wave or not?
When I first started this season’s Wargaming the Electoral College series, Colorado looked to be one of the toughest of Obama’s 2008 nuts for the GOP to crack. Indiana and North Carolina were safely Red again; New Mexico wasn’t going to budge from Blue; and Colorado was going to be Virginia-tough. But that’s not how things look on the ground these last couple weeks. That’s not what the last couple polls out of Colorado have indicated, either. And it’s certainly not how the Obama camp or the mainstream pollsters (but I repeat myself) are behaving.
The feeling on the ground is that Colorado is Romney’s to lose. He certainly could lose it, especially since we haven’t had a debate yet. But if what I’m seeing with my own lyin’ eyes in any indication, this election might be moving towards a fourth consecutive wave election.
The other question that remains is whether Romney can catch the wave.