"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Three Thoughts on Polls

The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Obama up 3.8% over Romney today.   Here are three reasons why you shouldn't worry:

1. The polls are skewed.   There is no way that the turnout in 2012 will equal the turnout for Obama in 2008.   No chance, no how.   Democrats aren't as enthused, Republicans are much more enthused.   Young people are either older, or less enthused.   Blacks and Hispanics are mildly disenchanted, not enough to vote for Romney, but enough to stay home in significant marginal numbers.   If the turnout is 2-3% plus for Dems, instead of the 7-8% the polls often assume -- see this poll from the National Journal, which has D+6 -- that wipes out the Obama advantage right there.   Right now, I'd say this is a 45-45 election, with 10% undecided.

2.  The undecideds will not break for Obamaa.   Undecideds are people who haven't decided that they like the job Obama's doing, but haven't quite got their arms around voting for Romney.   Many are "low information" voters who may not pay attention until very late, and definitely not until after the debates.   In those debates, Romney's threshold will be "is he a plausible President?"   He will easiliy meet that threshold.   Expect the undecideds to break hard for Romney.

3.  Lying to pollsters.  I think there is still a significant percentage of Americans who naively do not wish to be labeled as a "racist" for saying openly that they oppose Obama.   Maybe it's not too many, but the undecideds and independents will be most susceptible to this "peer pressure."   Expect a 2-3% bump to Romney based on people simply lying about their preferences.

No comments:

Post a Comment