Yes, I realize everyone in the media is telling me that the race for President is over. With 5 weeks to go, Obama has been called the winner by the DC bubble of journalists. Even the beltway GOP has gotten into the act. (My hatred of them will become clear on November 7th) An objective read of recent polling, however, shows that Obama is clearly in trouble. Obama is losing and it is his campaign that needs a boost from today's debate.
This week, virtually every media organization has rushed forward their pre-debate polls. Every poll seems to be converging on an Obama lead of 2-4 points. The problem for Obama is that all of these polls have very ambitious assumptions about Democrat turnout this year. It will not come close to 2008 levels, putting Obama's reelection in real jeopardy.
Tonight, National Journal released their latest poll. Among likely voters, the race is tied. Among independents, Romney has an 8-point lead. As you can probably guess, the poll assumes a 2008 turnout model and is D+7. So, if Democrats achieve the same history-making turnout they experienced in 2008, Obama and Romney are tied. In 2008, with a D+7 electorate, Obama defeated McCain by 7 points. Today, with the same electorate, Obama is tied.
Tell me, which campaign is underperforming?
In the past two weeks, virtually every media poll has shown a narrowing of the presidential race. Obama's lead is now beneath the Democrat skew in polls. In other words, a D+5 poll, for example, will give him a lead of 2-3 points. Another poll with a D+7 sample will show him tied. The numbers change, but his lead has never exceeded the partisan oversampling in any poll. He has never held a lead in any poll that has a more realistic turnout of the November elections.
You poll a lot of Democrats, Obama wins. You poll based on a realistic turnout of the November elections? Obama loses.
The media, in its waning days, can only get you so far. They have sacrificed their credibility on the altar of Obama, but it won't be enough. They tell us that Romney needs to win the debates to turn his campaign around. Yet, his campaign is steadily gaining ground against Obama. Going into the first debate, the underdog is Obama. The pressure is on him to right his own ship.
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