The Washington Post today is trumpeting its new poll of adults, which found Obama and Romney tied on their ability to handle the economy. The Post is also reporting that, among its screen of registered voters, Obama edges Romney by two points, 49-47. As Obama supporters breath a sigh of relief, they should note a big asterisk on the poll results: it took some heavy lifting with the numbers to get Obama up that high.
Specifically, the Post poll assumes a collapse in GOP turnout. The partisan breakdown of the poll is D-32, R-22, I-38. In other words, only 22% of the voters sampled were Republicans. If only 22% of voters in November were Republicans, it would be about the lowest turnout for the GOP in modern history.
In 2010, 35% of voters were Republican. In 2008, the year Obama swept into the White House, 32% of voters were Republican. Even in 2006, the year Democrats took control of Congress, 36% of voters were Republican.
Interestingly, the poll also reported Obama leading Romney by seven points among women. Factor out the 7-point bias for Democrats in a poll of adults and the ridiculously low number of Republicans in the poll and it looks like Obama's "War on Women" meme was a complete flop.
I guess its possible that a huge chunk of the GOP simply disappeared in the last two years, but it seems unlikely. If you adjusted the poll sample to something approaching reality, it would probably show Romney with a sizable lead against Obama -- which the mandarins at the Post would dutifully report on page A-17.
Remember, the partisan screen on this poll isn't an accident or quirk of the sample. It's the direct result of specific choices made by the pollster to "weight" the sample to reflect demographic and other characteristics of the electorate. If 22% of the sample are Republicans, its because the pollster "weighted" the poll to be that way.
Its only May, but the media's support of Obama is already blinding them to reality.
Follow me on Twitter @Flynn1776