Expect the headlines all day to trumpet the news of the Comeback Kid. He’s tied or trailing in national polls, but magically now trouncing Mitt Romney in key swing states.
Thanks, of course, to ridiculously slanted samples.
And if your instinct is to wonder if the samples have unrealistic proportions of Democrats to Republicans, well… you’re probably right. John Podhoretz already picked out the numbers this morning: “Florida’s 2008 exit poll when Obama won by 5 percentage points: Dem +4. Quinnipiac/NYT Florida poll today — Dem +9… Ohio 2008 exit poll: Dem +8. Today’s Quinnipiac poll: Dem +8…. 2008 exit poll in Pennsylvania: Dem +7. Today Quinnipiac poll: Dem +6. If today’s Qunnipiac polls are right, there are more Obama voters in Florida today than in 2008, and the same number in Ohio and Pennsylvania as in ‘08. Choose to believe if you want.”
Geraghty points out it actually gets worse.
When Quinnipiac asked its swing state samples, “Did you vote for Barack Obama or John McCain in 2008? Obama enjoys a 13 percentage point margin in Florida and a 15 percentage point margin in Ohio. Of course, in 2008, Obama won Florida by three percentage points and Ohio by 4.6 percentage points.
So Obama gets an extra 10% sample. This is called manufacturing the news, folks. Blatantly dishonest, yet all of the Obamamedia will dutifully regurgitate these numbers without the slightest hesitation.
Update: Ed Morrissey crunches the numbers.
The CBS/NYT model has Democrats a +9 in Florida when in 2008 they were only a +3 and an even split in the 2010 midterms. Ohio’s sample has exactly the split in 2008 (D+8), which is nine points better than Democrats did in the midterms. Pennsylvania’s numbers (D+6) come closest to a rational predictive model, somewhere between 2008′s D+7 and 2010′s D+3, but still looking mighty optimistic for Democratic turnout.
In other words, these polls are entirely predictive if one believes that Democrats will outperform their turnout models from the 2008 election in Florida and Ohio. That would require a huge boost in Democratic enthusiasm and a sharp dropoff in Republican enthusiasm — which is exactly the opposite that Gallup found last week.