Did the Polls Over-Count Dems?

Did the pre-election polls over-count Dems?  We’ll know in a few hours if 2012 more closely resembles 2004 or 2008:

From “I’m Calling It for Mitt,” Kimberley Strassel, WSJ:

“Many of the battleground polls assume the electorate will look somewhat like 2008, when Democrats had a seven-point partisan voting advantage over Republicans. This is inconceivable. The Obama turnout machine will be good, and probably bring out Democrats at about the party’s historic average; they will make up 37% to 38% of the electorate. The difference is that the GOP turnout machine, fueled by voter intensity, will likely equal (as it did in 2004) or even exceed that Democratic turnout. If that is the case, this election turns on independent voters, who are now behind Mr. Romney by a comfortable margin.

“My final prediction is that at a minimum, Mr. Romney wins 289 electoral votes, a tally that includes Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin. If it is a big night, he also picks up Pennsylvania and maybe Minnesota.”

No, No, We Don’t Hate the Kenyan Muslim Communist, We’re Just Disappointed in Him

From “Obama’s new challenge:  Disappointment,” Jonathan Allen, Politico:

“Yet what emerged from Tampa was a subtle, clever shift in GOP messaging, a much more dangerous strategy for Obama than the kitchen-sink attacks that preceded the gathering.  Republicans posed — rhetorically — as Obama 2008 voters, lamenting his unfulfilled expectations as if they had been with him all along instead of trying to block him at every turn.

Both sides recognize the power of the disappointment theme:  that the hope Obama offered for mending the economy, transforming the political process and even saving the earth has faded.

“Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod described the convention Friday as an exercise in ‘base’ management, with little crossover appeal.  But the disappointment argument is aimed directly at the decisive 6 percent to 8 percent of voters, mostly independents, who were willing to give Obama a chance four years ago.

“‘Given how the GOP entered the convention on the heels of [Missouri Senate candidate Todd] Akin and the platform discussion, I think they did a very good job of keeping the ‘crazy’ out of the convention.  All the prime-time speakers were reassuring and appeared moderate on social issues,’ Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg said.  ‘In fact, it was a pretty boring convention, in a good way for the GOP.’

“[New Mexico Governor Susana] Martinez told a killer anecdote about her conversion from Democrat to Republican over dinner with her husband and GOP friends.  ‘I’ll be damned — we’re Republicans!’

“The subliminal message to moderate voters?  ‘I’ll be damned — we’re Romney-ans!'”  Emphasis added.

I think that last part is a major stretch.  Even party faithful don’t think of themselves as Romney-ans.

And being disappointed doesn’t also make you stupid.

Is Ryan “Political Malpractice”?

From “Paul Ryan VP pick shakes up Mitt Romney battle plan,” John F. Harris and Mike Allen, Politico:

“Many outside Republican strategists, however, are already fretting that the pick will likely turn out to be political malpractice—turning off independents and older voters, who depend especially on programs that are targeted by Ryan’s budget plan that would cut entitlements.

“For now, Romney’s bold move is a gamble that in its own way is as breathtaking as the ultimately self-defeating one John McCain made four years ago with Sarah Palin.”

I don’t think Palin cost McCain the election.  But I think Ryan may well do that for Mitt — some other veep picks wouldn’t have hurt, and basically would have let Mitt win or lose on his own, but, on balance, Ryan hurts.

 

 

 

Obama Up by Ten in New Pew Poll

The Pew Research Center Poll released today finds President Obama up by 10 over Mitt, 51 to 41%.  It’s registered voters, though, not likely voters, so not as reliable.

Mittens’ favorables continue to be upside down, with 52% having an unfavorable view of him and 37% favorable.  The polling was done before Mitt’s triumphant trip abroad.

Obama is at the favorable number considered the bare minimum to be re-elected — 50%, with 45% unfavorable.

Mitt isn’t succeeding at narrowing the gender gap:  56% of women favor Obama, with 37% for Mitt.

Obama gets voters under 30 (58% to 34%), while Mitt gets those 65 and up (49% to 45%).

Independent voters — you know, the folks who actually decide these things — are almost evenly divided, with 45% for Obama and 43% for Mitt.

Support for Tax Increase on Highest Earners

A new Pew Poll shows that 44% believe that raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000 would help the economy, compared to 22% who believe it would hurt, with  24% saying it wouldn’t make a difference, and 11% saying they don’t know.

As you’d expect, Democrats more strongly favored the tax increase, with 64% saying it would help, only 11% saying it would hurt, 15% saying it wouldn’t make a difference, and 9% saying they don’t know.

Only 27% of Republicans say the tax increase would help, 41% say it would hurt, 24% say it wouldn’t make a difference, and 9% say they don’t know.

Independents fall in between, with 41% saying it would help, 18% saying it would hurt, 30% saying it wouldn’t make a difference, and 10% saying they don’t know.

 

Today in The Times, On This Blog Back in February

Last February 29, I posted “Tea Party Excess in the States Will Help President Obama Win.”  I wrote in part:

“People who thought they were voting for smaller, more efficient government [in the states in 2010] found that once these candidates were sworn in, it was all abortion , all the time. … Angry voters showing up to fix things in their state houses will help President Obama stay in the White House.  I believe there will be reverse coattails in 2012.”

Today, the New York Times has a front-page story saying the same thing — “Concern in G.O.P. over State Focus on Social Issues,” by Michael Cooper:

“Some Republican strategists and officials, reluctant to be identified because they do not want to publicly antagonize the party’s base, fear that the attention these divisive social issues are receiving at the state level could harm the party’s chances in November, when its hopes of winning back the White House will most likely rest with independent voters in a handful of swing states. … One seasoned strategist called the problem potentially huge.”