Today Rasmussen has Romney and Obama tied at 46. With leaners, Romney edges Obama 48 to 46.
It appears more and more people are beginning to notice the lopsidedness of the weight accorded Democrats in most media polls. As Jim Geraghty relates today, some of the polls project Democrat turnout to exceed the +7.6 Democrat advantage of 2008. In fact, it appears many, if not most, media polls are using 2008 modeling. This is despite the fact that the most recent Rasmussen party-identification poll gives Republicans a +4.3 advantage, the highest since Rasmussen began polling
But the disparity isn’t confined only to party identification. In a recent Ohio Newspaper Assn. poll that had Obama up by five in Ohio, Romney was preferred by independents 54–25. Obama took independents by nine points in 2008. That’s a full 38 point swing away from Obama, yet he’s purportedly beating Romney by a greater margin than he beat McCain in 2008. Neat trick.
We’ve been here before. In late October, 1980, Carter was still (supposedly) leading Reagan by 5–7 points. Less than two weeks later, Reagan crushed Carter by 9.7 points. Many of the 1980 polls were using (not unreasonably) 1976-election models. But recall that the 1976 election, because of Watergate, had one of the lowest Republican voter-identification levels in history (+16 for Democrats). Applying the 1976 model to a 1980 electorate sick of 7.5 percent unemployment, an incoherent energy policy, an embassy under siege, and a president who blamed everyone but himself for the nation’s woes yielded poll results that showed Carter besting Reagan.
Similarly, the 2008 election featured record turnout among certain demographics and produced a significant Democrat advantage. We’ll see in six weeks whether applying a 2008 model to today’s polls make as much sense as applying 1976 to 1980.
This is not to say Romney will beat Obama as Reagan beat Carter. Maybe today’s polls are right. After all, who wouldn’t be more enthusiastic about Obama after 43 months of 8 percent unemployment, plummeting household income, $5 trillion in new debt, serial trillion-dollar deficits, Obamacare, embassies under siege, a looming entitlement catastrophe, and the first credit downgrade in U.S. history?
Obama may actually have a big lead, but healthy skepticism is not unjustified.