The Czar must say he is quite confused by the media on this election.
Okay, there are so many stories “correcting” the polls that there is no point in providing a link to one of them. By and large, you fall into one of two categories: you are astonished that Mitt Romney probably is ahead of Barack Obama, or you don’t care. Odds are good you fall into the latter category. The Czar will talk a bit about both.
First, the media seems awfully determined to show Barack Obama ahead or at worst tied with Mitt Romney. Republican and independent analysis doesn’t agree with the presented data, and yes, the results can be challenged with equal parts analysis and sophistry.
Second, most people don’t care because by this point they have pretty much made up their minds. There cannot be many people who are chewing their fingernails wondering whether they will pull the lever, tap the screen, or color in the circle for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.
So who are these polls for? Seriously: if you discover that Barack Obama is up by two points in your state, are you really going to say “My God, I have to vote for that man! He’s ahead!” No, you’re either going to vote for him because you want him re-elected, or you’re going to vote for Mitt Romney. Unless you are a real whackjob, in which case, Gary Johnson is likely to get your vote. And he will thank you and the other nine Americans in return.
If such a scenario were even possible, you would see it: each time Barack Obama was called a point or two ahead, the next poll would show him three or four points ahead, and so on. This does not happen with any regularity because there is nothing realistic about that. Results vary from polling to polling only because methods of data collection and sample pools differ.
Instead, we see exactly that: candidates are hovering around the 48%-48% mark, with about only 4% undecided.
We know why polls continue to be taken: it’s the campaigns who want a daily pulse check on where they might be surging or weakening. We get that. But the intesity of reporting on Gallup, on Harris, on ABC, on CNN—none of these results will matter to the voter. No voter is going to change his or her eventual vote because Gallup showed a one-percent shift.
The media seem to want to project only good things about President Obama. They appear to be behind the promotion of these poll results, and might also be behind the alleged manipulation of the data. Why? The end result might be part of that ridiculous feedback loop that Axelrod and Friends seem to require: give us good news about the President, and we’ll let you in on his inside plans. The more good news they give Axelrod, the more access he grants.
This of course is a stupid practice, if true. If anything, you are more likely to energize Republican voters and encourage Democrats to stay at home on election day. The best thing the media could do—if there is truth to the stories—is alternate between Romney and Obama being ahead, and thereby stir up voters on both sides.
Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be much sense to these poll results. The Czar agrees that the numbers seem more than suspicious—so many other indicators contradict them—but cannot fathom why the media or the pollsters would bother manipulating them.
And the problem with the 2012 election is that any ridiculous explanation might actually be true.
Ah well, the only real poll that matters, Mandarin reminds us, is the one you participate in on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.