"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

Monday, October 15, 2012

What the Pros Are Seeing

I assume that there are professionals in the Obama camp who are looking at privately-commissioned polls that aren't seen by the general public, but which are more accurate, comprehensive, and based on larger samples than what we see.   What those pros are seeing will be premised on the following facts:

  • In 2004, for the Bush-Kerry election, exit polls showed turnout evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, 37-37, with 26% independents.
  • In 2006, a very bad year for Republicans, showed Democrats with only a two point edge in turnout, 38-36.   Again, there were 26% independents.
  • In 2008, at the height of Obamamania, with a very weak Republican candidate in John McCain, and at the height of a financial panic attributed (falsely) to a Republican President, party affiliation exit polls showed a D+7 edge, 39-32, with 29% independents.   (Note that 2008 wasn't so much a matter that there were more Democrats, but rather than Republicans chose to become independents.)
  • In 2010, with Obamamania receding (like a bad dream), the party affiliation was back to nearly even at 36-36, with 28% still saying they were independents.
  •  Gallup’s most recent party-affiliation polling shows Democrats with a 4-point advantage (32 to 28 percent)m but  Rasmussen Reports’ most recent party-affiliation polling shows Republicans with a 3-point advantage (37 to 34 percent).   Note that in either case there are 29-30% independents.  
So assume current party ID is split evenly, just as it was in 2004, 2006 and 2010, and not widely divergent, the way it was in the anomalous year of 2008.   What will happen?   Democrats will vote for Obama, Republicans will vote for Romney.   But what about independents?   In 2008 they swung strongly for Obama.   But this year all of the polling shows wide margins among independents for Romney.

The pros are seeing that a lot of the current polling that has a wide Democratic advantage is wrong, and that Romney not only is surging into the lead now, but has probably always been in the lead, largely due to independents breaking sharply away from the extreme liberalism, deficit spending, and foreign policy weakness of Obama.   Romney's pulling away, and they know it, and that's what's driving the hysteria.  

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