Obama National Field Director Jeremy Bird released a memo on Thursday designed to calm nervous Democrats by advancing the Obama campaign's meme that it is dominating early voting in the battleground state of Ohio.
But as former Republican National Committee strategist Adrian Gray points out, the Obama campaign's Ohio narrative is bogus.
"When things are ugly for a campaign, these types of memos can start
flying," writes Mr. Gray. "It is troubling for the president’s supporters that they could
not come up with at least a handful of positive data points in Ohio."
As Mr. Gray notes, the Obama campaign's Ohio memo is heavy on anecdotes, light on verifiable data, and plucks mathematical minutiae from sub-group polls to paint a political portrait approximating momentum.
In the memo, the Obama field director touts the fact that he has seen “groups as big as 100
voters going to vote in Athens, Ohio.” The problem: just 604 Democrats in the entire country have voted in
person, and no more than 40 in a single precinct.
Mr. Bird also lauds the fact that “precincts that Obama won in
2008 are voting early at a higher rate.” But as Mr. Gray points out, "this is unverifiable and
misleading because there is no such thing as an 'Obama precinct.'" Furthermore, given that redistricting has occurred, "we have entirely new precincts, thereby making it impossible to validate
Finally, the Obama campaign brags that a Time poll has Mr. Obama up 60-30 among early voters. There's just one problem, says Mr. Gray: "That sub-sample was
asked of 145 people and was one of many of similar ilk (with a huge
variation in results). Their central data argument is that 43 more
people told Time’s pollster over a two-day window they supported Obama.
If that is their best claim to a lead in Ohio, it is a troubling picture
for the president."
The Obama campaign continues to do all it can to offer its supporters hope by feeding journalists skewed polls. But with statistical mavens like Michael Barone now predicting a Romney victory, look for the Obama campaign to continue to serve up heaping dollops of manufactured mathematical hope to its anxious base.