Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Polls Are Verboten?

There has been some discussion about which polls, if any, conservative blogs should discuss or highlight. Hot Air kicks off the discussion by breaking out three possibilities:
  1. Give me everything: in this model the blog can report any and all polls assuming there is something newsworthy or interesting.
  2. Give me bad news but only if you debunk it: It's okay to show/mock a poll--but don't post polls which are unmitigated bad news (Rasmussen Obama +2)
  3. Just the good stuff. If you take a #3 model you either don't talk polls at all or just stick to good ones. 
The responses vary but cover all three (why would a partisan site promulgate liberal-media lies!?). There are a few links to unskewedpolls ... and no end of speculation about what might be true (Rove says there are plenty of former Obama voters who will not vote "O" again--but no McCain voter will vote Obama today ... how can he lead?). Another poster says her mother called "all panicked" about the latest Gallup poll--so maybe posting them isn't such a good idea (and another chimes in they have been "putting out fires all week" and "getting exhausted").

A poster "trying to plan their life around this election" is a "nervous wreck" and only looks to Rasmussen. That's not an uncommon sentiment, actually.

Red State's Erick Erickson makes a short, pointed post:
I do not believe the polls are all wrong. I do not believe there is some intentional, orchestrated campaign to suppress the GOP vote by showing Mitt Romney losing. I actually believe that Mitt Romney trails Barack Obama. I think Republicans putting their hopes in the polls all being wrong is foolish. But I also believe the polls are reflecting a bigger Democratic strength than is really there.
He goes on to say that something certainly could be up--but it's not a vast left-wing conspiracy. The comments go about 50-50. One of the more interesting theories there is that Romney's internal polling must be telling them they are doing the right thing since they are not changing what they are doing (so there!).

Although it doesn't discuss polling, a No Quarter editorial asks why so many Republicans seem to want Romney to lose:
What is wrong with these people? That’s what I want to know! They make me mad as hell! I just want to smack them!
In truth, I already know the answer. Those super-conservative Republicans, as well as conservative pundits who are worried about their reputations AFTER the election (should Romney lose), just plain don’t want Romney to win. They don’t want the “moderate” Romney to be the standard bearer of the Republican Party. They’d rather let Obama run his course and bring in one of their own, who will surely walk to a win in 2016. That is the simple truth of the matter. Think about it, and I’m sure you’ll arrive at the same conclusion. If not, you must be drunk.
 The comments have a somewhat similar vein.

What Do I Think?
Having thought about it, there is no really good reason to go to a conservative blog and agonize about the polling. After all, there's not much you can do about the polling and you aren't writing the blog. On the other hand, I think living in denial doesn't help anyone--and while I don't think it's possible Camp Romney is in denial I also don't believe them when they say it's a tight race and could go either way right now. If the election were held today? I think there's around a 10-20% chance Romney would win max--and while everyone is counting on a first-debate blow-out in six days we all know that statistically speaking it isn't likely to happen.

Here's something I'm keeping my eye on:

Romney's Supporters Reject His Soft Line On ObamaTOLEDO, Ohio — Mitt Romney covered a lot of territory Wednesday — rhetorically and geographically — as he crisscrossed Ohio delivering stump speeches that emphasized, alternately, trade, debt, energy, and job creation. But there's one thing he said at every campaign stop.
"Look, I know the president cares about America and the people of this country," he told the roughly 3,500 supporters gathered in a convention center here. "He just doesn't know how to help them. I do. I'll get this country going again."

This is not the message Romney's base wants to hear--the article has people "troubled" by the statement which smacks of the earlier nice-guy-in-over-his-head approach which was roundly hated. If the above is true--and consistent then it means that Romney is going back to that stance--which means that (a) he's worried that his favorable score is underwater and (b) he's maybe hurting from the 47% remarks.

It is also notable that (c) the pattern of small donors gives Obama, apparently, a 5-1 edge which is ... wait for it ... the same edge in presumptive turn-out as 2008:
If 2012 Turn-Out Looks Like 2008 NOBODY Thinks Romney Can Win

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