The myth that Barack Obama is “leading” Romney in polls and enjoys a “decisive advantage” over the Governor in polling is still being propagated by the media – including by outlets which aspire to be conservative.
Case in point is a ridiculous blogpost on the American Thinker website, written of course by well-known garbage peddler Rick Moran, with whom I have quarreled, and whom I have corrected, many times (and believe me, he’s as arrogant as he’s ignorant). Moran writes:
“With less than 100 days to go before the election, President Obama has a decisive advantage in 12 swing states that would give him a comfortable margin of victory in the electoral college if the election were held today.
The crucial battleground states number about a dozen: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Taking the polling averages used by Nate Silver in the New York Times, the president is ahead in 10 of the 12 vital states. If those polls were borne out on Election Day, Obama would coast to victory with 332 electoral college votes. Only 270 votes are needed to win the presidency.”
Which is utter garbage.
The only way one can come to such conclusion is 1) to look at all polls and treat them equally (or even give those that show Obama “leading” more weight than those that show Romney “leading”); and 2) to treat every state where Obama leads (even by a margin within a poll’s MOE) as “won” by Obama.
But if you actually look at the polls, you’ll see that in almost all swing states, in most polls, Obama doesn’t lead in the polls at all or leads only by a small margin within the polls’ own MOE. Wikipedia has a listing of all state polls here.
Don’t take my word for it. Go to Wikipedia. Look.
Let’s review the latest polls state-by-state:
1) Colorado: Obama leads Romney by 1 pp, MOE=4 pp;
2) Florida: Obama leads Romney by 1 pp, MOE=3.3 pp; all other polls from July except one show either Obama or Romney leading within the polls’ own MOE;
3) Indiana: Romney leads Obama by significant margins beyond the polls’ MOE;
4) Iowa: the latest poll, by a Democratic pollster (PPP), purports to show Obama “leading” Romney by 5 pp, but one poll from June shows him leading only by 1 pp, and one other poll from June gives Romney a 1 pp lead;
5) Michigan: the latest poll gives Romney a 1 pp lead;
6) Missouri: polls show Romney leading by comfortable margins;
7) Nevada: Obama leads Romney by margins beyond the polls’ MOE;
8) New Hampshire: the two latest polls give Obama leads that are within these polls’ own MOE;
9) New Mexico: the latest poll, by PPP no less, gives Obama an only 5 pp lead, compared to the double digit leads he enjoyed less than a month ago;
10) North Carolina: most recent polls show Romney leading Obama, sometimes by a margin that is beyond the polls’ own MOE;
11) Ohio: A We Ask America poll gives Obama a 7.6 pp lead, but most other polls give Obama much smaller leads;
12) Virginia: the results of the three latest polls are, respectively: a 1 pp lead, a tie, and a 2 pp lead for Obama, within the polls’ own MOE;
12a) Wisconsin: Obama’s leads here are beyond the polls’ MOE.
For the purposes of this brief analysis, Oregon and Pennsylvania are not counted as swing states. Oregon is safely Democratic and PA has not voted Republican since 1988.
Nevertheless, in all swing states listed here except Nevada and Wisconsin (and sometimes Ohio), Obama doesn’t lead Romney at all (IN, MO, NC in most polls) or leads him only by margins that are within the polls’ own MOE.
And this is the “decisive advantage” that Moran and the NY Slimes claim that Obama enjoys over Romney?
How can one claim that Obama enjoys ANY advantage over Romney, when his leads over Romney (when he attains them at all) are within the polling MOE in most swing states (all except NV, WI, and sometimes OH)?
To find out what that would mean for the result of the election, visit the 270towin.com website, whose interactive map allows you to predict who would win what state.
If Romney wins all the swing states where he’s currently leading (IN, MO, NC) or trailing Obama only by the polling MOE (CO, NH, VA, FL, IA), how can one claim that Obama is “leading” Romney, let alone enjoying “a decisive advantage”, when he might not be leading Romney at all?
Why are conservative media outlets such as the American Thinker and the Washington Times spreading false claims, defeatism, and pessimism among Republicans? Why are they doing the Dems’ bidding?
And why should polls that show Obama leading be given more credit than those showing Romney leading?
The truth is that, as I’ve been saying for a long time, polls are NOT showing Obama leading any more than they’re showing Romney leading. All that they prove is that the race is too close to call and won’t be decided until the American people actually step into voting booths and cast their votes. For reasons that I’ve stated before, I believe most voters in most swing states will vote for Romney.