Do you know what I would like this campaign season? Just one media poll that is merely within the same time zone as reality. When Obama won election in 2008, the electorate was D+7. Democrat turnout that year was historic. In 2004, when Bush won reelection, the electorate was evenly split. Yet, every media poll this year seems to be working off the assumption that, this year, the electorate will be even more Democrat than it was in 2008. This is either madness or willful propaganda.
AP-GfK released its latest presidential poll this morning. Among registered voters, the race is essentially tied, with Obama holding a 1-point lead over Romney. This is down from a 3-point lead in June and an 8-point lead in May. Even with the heavy Democrat skew of the AP polls, the trend here is unmistakeable; Romney is steadily gaining ground on Obama, in spite of the heavy spending advantage the President has enjoyed throughout the summer.
Oh, there is one other thing I would like from the media polls this season: stop polling the political opinions of adults. First, there is generally a 7-9 point Democrat bias in polls of adults, compared to likely voters. But, more importantly, these people aren’t registered to vote, and, consequently, will have zero impact on the election. The AP does report the head-to-head match up among registered voters, but every other question in the poll is based on responses from adults, not voters.
Yet, even with this big assist to the Obama campaign, the AP poll provides ominous signs for his reelection effort.
Among adults, Obama has a +9 favorability rating (53-44). But, in May, his favorability rating was +20. His favorability rating–again of adults drawn from a D+8 sample–is slightly lower than it was right before the 2010 mid-term elections.
On who is better to handle the economy, Romney leads Obama by 1 point, the first time he has led on this question in the poll. Romney leads by 7 points on who would be better to handle the budget deficit. Again, this is the view of adults drawn from a D+8 sample.
65% of adults rate the economy as “poor.” Only 30% of adults think their personal financial situation will improve over the next year. And, with 91% of adults saying the economy is very/extremely important to them personally, Romney’s advantage on these issues could be decisive.
As flawed as the AP poll is, it shows clearly that Romney is quickly closing the gap with Obama. In fact, a more reasonable sample would likely show him with a small lead. The media can keep deluding themselves with heavily skewed samples, or they can decide to find out what is really going on in this campaign. Otherwise, they are due for a big surprise come November.