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Debunking A Myth: Reagan Was Leading Carter Long Before That Final October Debate

One of the most common statements I’m hearing from Romney supporters these days when bad poll numbers come out involves some variation on the “polls don’t matter” refrain that you often here from supporters of candidates who are falling behind in the polls. In this particular case, they attempt to back up their argument with the “fact” that Ronald Reagan was trailing Jimmy Carter by as much as seven points in the polls until the candidates met in their one and only debate on October 28, 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the debate where Reagan asked his famous “Are you better off?” question during his closing remarks. Somehow, it became conventional wisdom that, until that debate, Reagan was trailing Carter and that it was only this debate that turned things around and, one week later, propelled him to victory.

As it turns out, that is completely untrue:

Below is a graph of all the polls, plus a smoothed trendline.  The public polls were graciously provided by Robert Erikson and Christopher Wlezien, who use similar data from every election from 1952-2008 in their forthcoming book, The Timeline of Presidential Elections—which everyone should buy.  I’ve supplemented their data with some late private polls conducted by the two campaigns, which are available in this paper by Warren Mitofsky.

The plot shows what Chait describes, which is the ebbing of Carter’s poll standing throughout 1980.  Indeed, Reagan didn’t need his convention bump—which he certainly got—to put him in the lead.  The Democratic convention helped erode Reagan’s lead but it never closed it altogether.

At the end of the campaign, Reagan did surge, but this only increased his lead.  His surge appears to have been brought on first by the debate, and then perhaps by several other events in the final week of the campaign.  To quote Mitofsky:

During that same final week, Richard Allen resigned from the Reagan campaign for an alleged misuse of influence during his Nixon White House days. The same day Carter’s congressional liaison, Frank Moore, resigned after repeating the unsubstantiated story of the Ayatollah’s cancer. On Friday of that week the final economic indicator of the campaign showed inflation still seriously on the rise. And on Sunday morning, November i, the Iranian parliament announced their conditions for freeing the American hostages. Jimmy Carter immediately abandoned campaigning and appeared on national television in the early evening to repeat much of what the public had been hearing all day. It was a week, in effect, with much that could affect the choices made by voters.

Here’s the chart referred to above:

And here’s a chart of the RCP Poll of Polls through today, which includes a new New York Times/CBS News poll showing Obama leading by three:

Andrew Sullivan sums it up:

 Reagan was never behind Carter in the poll of polls from May of 1980 onwards. Equally, Obama has never been behind Romney in national polls from November of 2011 onwards. Yes, Reagan did have a last minute surge to give him a landslide, thanks to the debates, but he would have won without it. From September on, the 1980 race looks a little like the current gap between the two candidates, but with the roles reversed. Carter was a few points behind, like Romney, but never managed to overtake him when it mattered, and then suddenly lost in a landslide.

I must admit that I have at times repeated the “Reagan was behind before the last debate” meme a few times when discussing Reagan’s “Are you better off?” question without actually checking the data. That was my mistake, but I think it’s one that a lot of people make because, for some reason, the idea that Reagan won the election in that debate has become part of political legend. As Sullivan notes, what Reagan won in that debate was the landslide victory that he would score just a week later. Prior to the debate, he was leading in the polls, but a slightly smaller margin that would’ve still likely lead to a victory, but probably by a smaller margin in both the Popular Vote and the Electoral College.

There are other significant differences between 1980 and today. President Obama’s job approval numbers have hovered at or below the 50% mark for the better part of a year now, but they’ve never really gone below 45% or so for a significant period of time. Right now, the President’s job approval is at 49% according to the RCP polling average. By contrast, as Ed Kilgore points out, at this point in the 1980 election cycle, President Carter’s job approval was at 37% and had been below 40% for four straight months. In other words, Jimmy Carter was a far, far weaker incumbent than Barack Obama is. If you’re looking for an analogy to apply to this election, look to George W. Bush in 2004, who was at 52% job approval at this point in the 2004 cycle. Of course, Bush went on to defeat John Kerry, and, just like Obama, had been leading Kerry in the polls for months prior to Election Day:

I can understand why Romney supporters would want to cling to this myth in the face of bad poll numbers and an increasingly narrow path to victory for their candidate. This is what partisans tend to do when faced with bad news, and the legend of Ronald Reagan’s win in 1980 offers them a comforting counter-example to what the polling charts are showing them. The problem is that it’s a myth, and once you realize that, things become rather grim for Team Romney:

[W]ithout the 1980 model, there isn’tany example of a challenger coming from behind to defeat an incumbent president. The leader of mid-September polls has gone onto win the popular vote in every election since 1948, and then it was the incumbent who pulled off the comeback. Now, unprecedented obviously doesn’t mean impossible. Only ten post-war presidents have run for reelection and there aren’t many lessons to be gleaned from the predestined blowouts where an incumbent continuously holds a substantial lead through November, leaving us with only five interesting races involving incumbents: 1948, 1976, 1980, 1992, and 2004. And if you ask me, 1976 and 1948 aren’t entirely analogous, since Ford and Truman were running for the presidency for the first time.

(…)

Romney is in a much worse situation than Reagan. Unlike Carter, Obama has inched close to 49 percent of the vote in the RealClearPolitics average, which puts him in striking distance of reelection. Even if Romney could pull-off a Reagan-esque surge among undecided voters, it would just result in a dead heat. And unlike Reagan, Romney didn’t demonstrate that a majority of voters were prepared to dismiss the president by reaching or surpassing his own magic number after the RNC. Instead, 2012 looks more like 2004.

If Romney can’t take a lead over the next week or so, he will be forced to do something never successfully attempted: mount an unprecedented comeback against an incumbent president. As mentioned before, the absence of precedent doesn’t mean something is impossible, especially since the race is close. But it might speak to probability, and I hope a hypothetical Romney comeback will be properly appreciated as a first in the history of presidential politics. Maybe then we’d finally be able to move on from the myth of 1980.

Is it possible for Romney to mount this comeback? Yes. Is it probable? Given the available evidence, I’d have to say no.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Morning Joe was pretty devastating on the things Romney should have done by now, in a serious Presidential campaign. It isn’t just shooting from the hip, it’s also not building a normal team. It’s not having a framework of experienced advisers for issues foreign and domestic.

    Joe has been asking rhetorically who is Romney’s campaign strategist for a few days now. My guess, as noted here earlier, is that it’s Romney himself micro-managing and mismanaging.

    All that makes it hard to turn the good ship Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Remembering Obama’s ambush of the House GOP caucus makes me wonder how Mitt’s backers can think there is any way he could win the Presidency based on his debate performances? I just don’t see Mitt, standing at the podium and destroying Obama all by himself when his House compatriots, in their entirety, so utterly failed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sorry, I forgot the Link for the ambush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. @OzarkHillbilly:

    You know, some of us saw #romneyshambles and the British disaster as an early warning. We were told, no, we were being unfair and harsh. Well, what is his Libya message but the same thing, blown up, when it matters? He did the wrong thing on the evening of the 11th, and he hasn’t figured out how to correct himself.

    No, I don’t think he’ll hold it together at the debates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  5. KariQ says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Remembering Obama’s ambush of the House GOP caucus makes me wonder how Mitt’s backers can think there is any way he could win the Presidency based on his debate performances?

    But that’s the thing, Romeny’s supporters don’t remember that event. They ‘remember’ the Obama that only they see, the one who can’t speak without a teleprompter, who is an empty suit, who is the affirmative action president. They have completely also forgotten that he did a decent job in the debates against McCain. They see and remember only that which confirms their image of him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  6. stonetools says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Romney’s problem is a Republican problem. There’s really not a dime’s difference between the Romney position and the Republican Congress position on the issues. This is nothing they can fix with some tactical adjustment.
    I’m betting that if Obama wins, he’ll have long coat tails.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  7. stonetools says:

    @john personna

    I expect Obama’s lead to grow, not shrink, after the debates. Obama ain’t a GREAT debater ( Hillary out debated him in 2008, according to the pundits). But then, neither is Romney, and Obama has the better case.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

  8. Rafer Janders says:

    @KariQ:

    Obama, like The Shadow, has the power to cloud men’s minds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  9. lankyloo says:

    Obama is not the greatest debater, though he is not bad. But everything I have seen from Romney indicates a really bad performance by him. He doesn’t do well when challenged, and really wasn’t in this primary. In 2008, when everybody ganged up on him in the Republican primaries, I remember him being pretty terrible in the debates. Romney’s pathetic answers when asked questions by reporters that he doesn’t want to answer makes me think that the debates will be full of cringe-inducing mirth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @stonetools:

    I’m betting that if Obama wins, he’ll have long coat tails.

    I think that could well be, but I wouldn’t put any money on it… but I seeing what is around me here, I could be a bit cynical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sullivan:

    On Nate Silver’s model, if the election were held today, Romney would have an 8.4 percent chance of winning, compared with Obama’s 91.6 percent. Romney’s chances were 32.3 percent a week ago. That’s not a decline; it’s a free-fall.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  12. KariQ says:

    @stonetools:

    Obama ain’t a GREAT debater

    I agree. That’s why I described his debate performance as ‘decent.’ He did okay. He didn’t blow it horribly nor did he destroy McCain. A repeat of that is all that’s needed, unless something changes the race significantly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  13. mattb says:

    @lankyloo:

    He doesn’t do well when challenged, and really wasn’t in this primary.

    Right… one of the things that Republicans seem to forget is that the format of the Primary debates is fundamentally different than Presidential debates. There was very little room for intensive back-and-forths with the army of people on that stage.

    Granted we haven’t seen Romney in an extended one-on-one debate in years. So perhaps he will do well in that circumstance. But, given how easily Gingrich and Perry got him rattled in the recent debates when they successfully hit on an issue, I wouldn’t be super confident in his abilities — especially when there’s no one else on stage to step up and give him time to recover.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  14. stonetools says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I think that could well be, but I wouldn’t put any money on it… but I seeing what is around me here, I could be a bit cynical.

    At this point, I’m hoping. You see I’m in northern Virginia, but you’re in Real America, where Todd Akin will likely beat Claire McCaskill. You probably have a clearer view of how things will turn out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Me Me Me says:

    Mitt’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s – it was abundantly on display during his disastrous London trip, where the combination of jet lag and unfamiliar surroundings clearly scrambled his brain. The potential for a similar melt down under the hot lights during the debates is enormous. I cannot wait. He and his campaign revealed themselves to be contemptible this week; they deserve an epic humiliation.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @stonetools: Yup yup yup…. Real Murcans doing real Murcan things… Lahk votin’ fur reel men hoo no how to kip his wimmen in thur place and don’t fergit the natral ordr of the humin rases.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  17. sam says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Obama, like The Shadow, has the power to cloud men’s minds.

    Well, then, Republicans are safe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  18. stonetools says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    And to be honest, we’ve got lots of Real Murcans in Virginia too. Our Attorney General is as bats&**t crazy as Akin, IMO, and he will likely get elected to higher office in Virginia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  19. cd6 says:

    I’m taking this through the looking glass here

    The diehard republicans keep insisting that Rmoney is ahead and all the current polls suggesting otherwise are cause “Axlerod got to the pollsters” or whatever and that Romney’s really ahead. And they are insisting he “scored points” on Obama the past few days, Obamas really weak, etc etc

    I think at this point we all know after the debates, regardless of what actually happens, you’re going to have NRO and HotAir and Rubin and all of them just completely INSISTING Romney destroyed Obama in the debates. I mean, they might as well right up those articles now.

    So how far do you think this craziness goes??

    Like, when Obama wins the election, do you think they’ll insist, no, Romney actually won!! And they’ll like make plans to attend his inauguration?

    You laugh now, but admit, it’s not completely impossible with these people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  20. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Can you fathom the reaction among the Internet’s (loopy) chattering blocs if Romney wins this election? Yikes. I actually believe in that event it’ll be far worse than in ’04.

    In any event, winning a debate doesn’t matter when you’re running against an incumbent presiding over a disastrous economy, as Carter was in 1980. Or at least none of that mattered in the past. Incumbent + bad economy = incumbent gets tossed. Hoover, Ford, Carter, H.W. Bush. On the other hand, incumbent + good or at least improving economy = incumbent reelected. FDR. Truman. Ike. LBJ. Nixon. Reagan. Clinton. W. Bush. Like clockwork.

    But things have changed. The public is a lot dumber and a lot more dependent upon the government. The national media has gotten far more partisan. The Democrat identity groups have gotten much less rational and far more militant. Romney is a Mormon.

    Obama certainly could win this election. You even could say it’s probable. Especially if you believe these media polls.

    All that would set a new historical standard, by the way. Think about it. What exactly would be the message of an incumbent winning reelection with U-6 unemployment at nearly 15% and conditions on the ground so horrific the workforce actually is shrinking? Cue the theme music from The Twilight Zone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

  21. @Tsar Nicholas:

    All that would set a new historical standard, by the way. Think about it. What exactly would be the message of an incumbent winning reelection with U-6 unemployment at nearly 15% and conditions on the ground so horrific the workforce actually is shrinking? Cue the theme music from The Twilight Zone.

    It tells the challenging party they better bring a plan, and that it’s not sufficient to just say “things are bad.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  22. Me Me Me says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    What exactly would be the message of an incumbent winning reelection with U-6 unemployment at nearly 15% and conditions on the ground so horrific the workforce actually is shrinking?

    Ummm…that the Republicans are completely bereft of ideas and are still taking their social cues from Bronze Age goatherds? Also, as a poll just yesterday proved, the majority of Americans blame the Republicans for creating the mess we are in in the first place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  23. KariQ says:

    @cd6:

    when Obama wins the election, do you think they’ll insist, no, Romney actually won!!

    Yes, they will, or at least that he would have if it wasn’t for massive voter fraud and the media. In the comments of Doug’s post about the latest NBC swing state polling, one commenter is insisting that McCain could have won if it hadn’t been for the media discouraging people from voting for him by telling them he was trailing in the polls.

    So yes. For some people, denial runs deep.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  24. Anderson says:

    @john personna: Romney’s senior strategist is, I think, Stuart Stevens from Mississippi.

    Which explains a lot, right there. Your strategy guys should be people from swing states who have actually met other people who disagreed with their politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  25. michael reynolds says:

    Romney is not a bad debater up against people like Perry and Cain and Gingrich. Pity for him he’s not up against a sleepy Texan, a clown, or the living embodiment of fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Debates are not about issues, they’re about personality and character. They are hugely influenced by pre-existing narrative. In other words, if you basically like one guy or the other you’ll think he won.

    And that, rather than issues or debating points, is Romney’s problem. No one likes him. Because he’s a dick. He’s dishonest, shifty, soulless and arrogant. There’s nothing he can do at this point to be less of a dick. The dick is baked in.

    The only way Romney can possibly “win” the debates is if Obama implodes. Has anyone here ever seen Obama implode? Not fantasy Eastwood-chair Obama, but the actual guy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  26. Anderson says:

    Michael, I think Romney could lose a debate against Empty-Chair Obama, much less the real thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  27. @michael reynolds:

    The only way Romney can possibly “win” the debates is if Obama implodes. Has anyone here ever seen Obama implode? Not fantasy Eastwood-chair Obama, but the actual guy?

    I think the Telemundo interview was actually “angry Obama,” which was pretty freaking controlled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  28. @Anderson:

    I probably shouldn’t guess based on what looks like a thin wikipedia history, but I’m going to guess Stevens is playing it the way the boss wants him to.

    Heck, Huntsman was a guest and pushed back on Scarborough’s idea that a better adviser should have guided Romney’s 9/11 message. No, he said, that’s something the candidate should know. I absolutely agree. A presidential candidate should have the instinct to be presidential.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. anjin-san says:

    Yes, they will, or at least that he would have if it wasn’t for massive voter fraud

    A few black men in leather jackets and berets outside of a polling station ought to seal the deal for Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  30. Me Me Me says:

    Can somebody who ascribes to the voter fraud theory explain to me why Obama is leading in 4 of the 5 whitest states in the country?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  31. Davebo says:

    Can you fathom the reaction among the Internet’s (loopy) chattering blocs(sic) if Romney wins this election?

    Do you include yourself in that loopy block?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The Democrat identity groups have gotten much less rational and far more militant.

    Yeah! Those Tea-Party people are just….. Ooooopps.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Anderson:

    Michael, I think Romney could lose a debate against Empty-Chair Obama, much less the real thing.

    This thread is over. Anderson wins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  34. JEBurke says:

    It’s certainly true that Carter was a much weaker incumbent than Obama. I don’t know where the idea came from that RR didn’t pull ahead until late, but it is also true that Carter was competitive in September and into October and the debates, as well as the ongoing hostage ,

    crisis, put him away. That said, it is mostly irrelevant to look to what happened 32 years ago, and Doug is correct to point out that the public polls, in the aggregate and over time, reflect Obama’s resilience. Still, the bulk of the campaign period that weighs most heavily is still in the future (as odd as it seems to say that after a year of campaigning), and an incumbent President having an RCP lead of 3.2 points at this juncture is no cause for jubilation. At this point in the 2008 campaign — just before the financial crisis — McCain was ahead by 2.4 points in the RCP average! And on September 13, 2004, Bush led by 5.7 points in the RCP average, but won the election by 2.4 percent, less than half of his 9/13 polling lead. Needless to say, Obama has little cushion beneath him, and the macro picture painted by the past three months of polls remains a highly competitive race with a slight edge to Obama. Bottom line is that either guy can win this in the next seven weeks, which to use a cliche is an eternity in politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  35. JEBurke says:

    @JEBurke: One more thing: note in the RCP graph above that Bush was leading in the final set of polls by 1.5 points, but his actual winning margin was 2.4 points, almost a full percentage point higher, or more than a million raw votes. On the one hand, coming within a point demonstrates the accuracy of (late) polls. On the other, it demonstrates that they can easily be off by quite enough to miss the result, even when nearly everyone in their samples has decided for whom to vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. Murray says:

    A major myth that needs debunking is … Ronald Reagan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  37. emjay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: He can destroy him if he sticks to Obama’s record and forces Obama to address it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @emjay:

    He can destroy him if he sticks to Obama’s record and forces Obama to address it.

    Tee hee….. emjay, you crack me up. Mr. Etch-a-sketch’s campaign can’t stay on script for 5 minutes and you expect him to stick to Obama’s record? And which record are you referring to? The real one or the one promulgated in the fevered swamps of Fox News? Because if they are going to stick to the real record they are going to have to acknowledge a few unpleasant facts that they have so far ignored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  39. Rick Almeida says:

    @JEBurke:

    Still, the bulk of the campaign period that weighs most heavily is still in the future

    Respectfully, this is incorrect. The research clearly shows that the vast majority of voters have their preference crystallized by July-August of the election year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. JEBurke says:

    @Rick Almeida: Yeah, well, respectfully “the vast majority” — 80 percent or sometimes more — have decided for whom to vote before any campaigning begins, because they vote for anyone nominated by the party they prefer. I don’t need any research to know that, and it is largely irrelevant to the outcome of the campaign, the bulk of which, as I said, lies ahead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JEBurke: And you disagree…. How?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. bill says:

    maybe romney should bring up the fact that obama can’t/won’t work with the house, and the house will be republican for a while regardless of who wins. obama basically says he won’t get anything accomplished next term. check.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    Yes! Remind everyone that Republicans are blindly partisan obstructionists, but with Romney in the White House the House Republicans will be setting the agenda. After all they have a an approval rating in the low single digits. Maybe you should become a strategist for the Romney campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  44. Wayne says:

    A couple of Professors came up with a graph and that is supposed to be proof?
    There is no possibility of hindsight cherry picking right?
    All those stories back when it happens about polls being far off were based on nothing?
    Once again using polls a week to two out to claim polls months out are accurate. Nice. Especially when you have firm like CSR that went from 1 point Carter lead to 10 point Reagan lead in a weeks’ time. Their last poll the day before election probably wasn’t even release until after the election. DMI results which show Reagan with comfortable lead didn’t correspond with most of the other polls. Take DMI and the last two days of others polls that probable weren’t released prior to election out of the averages and results change a great deal.

    How about showing what the polls by firm and released date said prior to the last two weeks before the election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. Gallop Poll: Jimmy Carter 47 — Ronald Reagan 39 two weeks before the 1980 General Election.

    http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/may/2012-09-20/gallop-poll-jimmy-carter-47-ronald-reagan-39#.UFqw3I6I3BE

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. ScotLC says:

    What’s really interesting is that this early in the race, where the two candidates are in a statistical tie, the Obamabots can be preaching about certain Obama victory. It’s also interesting to look at the disparity in who has predicted what “swing state” is going to whom…and even what constitutes a swing state. So here’s reality: Right now Obama and Romney are tied. The 1 to 3 point differences credible polls come up with are meaningless. Nate Sliver’s silly percentages are less than meaningless. Right now Romney is doing better than Reagan was and Obama is suffering worse economic and international problems than Carter was. None of that bodes well for 0 but any arrogance in predictions is good for nothing but humor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. Me Me Me says:

    @ScotLC: “It’s also interesting to look at the disparity in who has predicted what “swing state” is going to whom”

    I would be VERY interest in looking at this “disparity”. So help me out: who is predicting OH, FL and VA for Romney?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  48. ScotLC says:

    Florida has been predicted for Romney many times. Ohio has been back and forth on RCP and Rasmussen, as has Virginia. Indiana was a “swing state” and is still listed as only “weak” ‘pub in some places even though Romney has from a 5 to 10 point lead. Obama has no chance there and that should make people wonder what other states are being equivocated on which, in fact, are long gone to Romney. Doubly interesting since, at various times, various states have been listed “strong” Dem with as little as a 3 point Obama lead. Actually, in looking right now Rasmussen and RCP have all three back into the tossup category. I’d say that’s correct for Ohio and Virginia, but Florida is going Mitt, as is Missouri and probably NH. Actually, in playing with the CNN map, which you can shift as you please, I keep coming up with three states as the key: NH, OHIO and Colo. All likely to go Romney.

    But, maybe if we’re lucky this “Obama has it in the bag” mentality will make more of the ignorant class, ie, leftists, stay home and watch reality TV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. Me Me Me says:

    @ScotLC: Wow. You playing with the CNN map has absolutely nothing to do with what the polls say. When was the last poll that showed Romney ahead in Ohio? You are utterly delusional.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  50. Harleys says:

    the only thing the author of this spin piece has proven is that polls are spun according to the promoter’s bias. “figures don’t lie but liars sure figure”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. Harleys says:

    BTW, the only poll that matters is the one on 11/6; the media obsession with polls is not only misleading but a violation of journalistic ethics 101: report the news, don’t fabricate it to influence public opinion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2