Thursday, September 27, 2012

This can't be right

By Mustang Bobby

(Ed. note: For some right-wing reaction to this right-wing allegation, see Dear Leader Rush (who thinks most of the polls are bogus) vs. Erick Erickson, who looks remarkably sane by comparison, even if he too thinks the race is closer than the polls suggest. -- MJWS)

Some Republicans can't believe that Mitt Romney is behind in the polls. It's just not possible. How could he be losing to That Man? There's got to be something wrong.

Why of course! It's not the candidate; it's the polls!

They argue many mainstream polls skew in Obama's favor because of sample sizes that base 2012 turnout projections on 2008, when Democrats — and Hispanics, blacks and young voters in particular — turned out in record numbers.

"I don't think [the polls] reflect the composition of what 2012 is going to look like," Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said in an interview.

Frustration that polls are skewed in favor of Obama has escalated among some on the right in recent weeks. One website,, recently began re-weighting the mainstream polls to closer track the demographic assumptions of conservative polling outlet Rasmussen Reports. The re-weighted polls all show Romney ahead in the race, with leads of between 3 and 11 percentage points.

It's perfectly understandable that the Romney folks want to deny reality; polling is a tricky business and there's lots of room for error — which is why they include the "margin of error" in their results.  But when you have every major polling organization showing pretty much the same results, then chances are it's the way things are. Besides, if the tables were turned and Mr. Romney was ahead in all the major polling, the Republicans would be lauding the pollsters for their unbiased and scientific work. (For the GOP, science in your favor is flawless, but the jury is still out on evolution and climate change.)

(Cross-posted at Bark Bark Woof Woof.)

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