New Polls Have Obama Ahead In Three Battleground States

Three new polls show President Obama leading in three key battleground states.

CBS News and The New York Times have teamed up with Quinnipiac University for a poll of three “battleground” that shows Obama with leads outside the martin of error in all three:

President Obama is struggling to persuade voters that he deserves to win re-election based on his handling of the economy, but his empathy and personal appeal give him an edge over Mitt Romney in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, according to Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls.

The contours of a deeply competitive presidential race, with three months remaining until the election, are highlighted in the new surveys of likely voters in the three battleground states. Mr. Romney drew fairly even with Mr. Obama when voters were asked about managing the nation’s financial situation, but his candidacy remains tested by concerns over his business background and his reluctance to release more of his tax returns.

The polls in the three states, all of which Mr. Obama carried in 2008, offer a window into challenges and opportunities for both candidates as August begins and they prepare for their nominating conventions and the general election fight. Most paths to victory that the campaigns are pursuing include winning at least two of the states.

While independent voters break strongly for Mr. Obama in Pennsylvania, a state that Mr. Romney has been trying to make more competitive, they are closely split in Florida and Ohio. Of the coalition that Mr. Obama built to win the White House, independent voters remain a hurdle, with a little more than half in Florida and Ohio saying they disapprove of his job performance.

But a torrent of television advertising in the states, particularly in Ohio and Florida, appears to be resonating in Mr. Obama’s quest to define his Republican rival. The polls found that more voters say Mr. Romney’s experience was too focused on making profits at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he led, rather than the kind of experience that would help create jobs.

A snapshot of the race, taken during a burst of summer campaigning, found that Mr. Obama holds an advantage of 6 percentage points over Mr. Romney in Florida and Ohio. The president is stronger in Pennsylvania, leading by 11 percentage points. The margin of sampling of error is plus or minus three percentage points in each state

Perhaps the most significant finding from these state polls is the fact that, while voters have doubts about President Obama’s handling of the economy and still see the economy doing poorly, it doesn’t appear that Mitt Romney has yet been able to “close the deal” and convince voters to take a chance on him as President:

The polls found that Mr. Obama faces substantial hurdles of his own, most of them rooted in the electorate’s deeply pessimistic outlook on the economy. By double-digit margins, voters in each state say his policies would hurt, rather than help, their personal financial situation if he won re-election, a worrisome sign considering the economy is ranked as voters’ chief concern.

Still, more than half of voters in each state also say the administration’s actions are either slowly improving the economy or will, if given more time.

“Romney does have business experience, but I wonder if his business experience would benefit the country or might harm it,” said Peg Pagano, 72, a retiree in Holland, Pa., in a follow-up interview. “He was in business in order to make a profit. There’s nothing wrong with that, but how would that help the country? I feel Obama needs to be given another four years.”

(…)

Mr. Obama has a clear advantage on personal measures, and far more voters say he cares about the needs and problems of people like them.

Mr. Romney is seen as being able to do a comparable job on the economy. More voters in Florida say his economic policies would be better for their own financial situations. Among independent voters in the state, the poll found Mr. Romney outpacing Mr. Obama by 14 percentage points when asked who would perform better on the economy.

“We’ve seen Romney’s track record with the Olympics and with his business, and I think that’s what really swayed me,” said Chris Rench, 47, who recently left his job as an equipment operator from Piqua, Ohio. “And I haven’t seen anything in his past that has been questionable. There is nothing to make me doubt his ability to do the things he says he wants to do.”

The president drew broad support from voters in each state for a proposal to raise income taxes on people whose household income is more than $250,000. The plan received the backing of 58 percent of likely voters in Florida, 60 percent in Ohio and 62 percent in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Romney has endured criticism for declining to release more than two years of his tax returns, and at least half the voters, including about half the independent voters, in each state say presidential candidates should release several years of returns.

In the CBS News write up, we see that Romney continues to have likability issues:

The president is viewed more favorably in all three swing states, and is far more likely to be seen as caring about voters’ needs and problems. Voters are split on Romney’s business background: While roughly 42 percent say it will help him create jobs, about half say it is too focused on profits. Less than one third of voters say either candidates’ policies will help their financial situation, though Romney has a slight edge on this question. Voters are also slightly more likely to say Mr. Obama’s policies will hurt them financially.

Mr. Obama’s voters are significantly more likely to strongly favor him in all three states. Romney’s support is substantially more likely to come from those who say they are motivated primarily by their dislike of the other candidate.

In Pennsylvania, for example, 59 percent of Obama voters strongly favor the president, while 41 percent of Romney voters strongly favor the former Massachusetts governor. While 22 percent of Romney voters say they are backing him because they dislike the president, only 7 percent are backing Mr. Obama because they dislike Romney.

(…)S

Mr. Obama’s favorable rating is 50 percent or slightly higher in all three states. Romney’s favorable rating, meanwhile, hovers around 40 percent. In all three states the president’s favorable rating is higher than his unfavorable rating, while Romney’s unfavorable rating is higher than his favorable rating. Meantime, Mr. Obama’s job approval is split in all three states: in Florida and Ohio, 48 percent approve of the job he’s doing, 48 percent disapprove; in Pennsylvania, 49 percent approve while 46 percent disapprove.

These numbers are actually fairly consistent with the state of the race right now, with one exception. Taking the Quinnipiac poll into account, Obama is ahead by an average of 4.8 points in Ohio according to the RealClearPolitics poll. This is likely a reflection of the act that the Obama campaign has been saturating the Ohio airwaves with anti-Romney ads (Bain, etc)

In Pennsylvania, the RCP Average is at 7.0 points, and the closest Romney has been in the past month is a Rasmussen poll that had him down by four points. Because of this, I tend to reject the idea that Pennsylvania should be considered a swing state right now. Republicans haven’t won the state in a Presidential election since 1988. Also, while it’s true that Republicans did well statewide in 2010 there, it’s worth noting that 2010 turnout was more than two million voters less than the turnout in the 2008 Presidential election so I’m not sure what those results tell us about this year. Pennsylvania is a state that constantly teases the GOP in Presidential years but, for the past 20 years always disappoints. Perhaps the state will be competitive this year, but so far the polls aren’t showing any signs of that. The one anomaly from this poll is the result in Florida. The RCP average for the state is a razor-thin 1.4 points in Obama’s favor. The largest lead any poll has shown for Obama in two months is five points in a SurveyUSA poll, and no poll has shown a six point lead since a Quinnipiac poll all the way back in March. While many of those previous polls were of Registered rather than Likely Voters, that’s nonetheless still something of an anomaly. This poll may be an outlier, and we’d need to see additional polling to see if Obama really is pulling away in the Sunshine State. If he is that could spell big trouble for Romney.

Several people on the right have reacted to these polls by pointing out supposed problems with their demographic samples. Ed Morrissey points out that the partisan breakdown seems to favor Democrats:

Now let’s take a look at the partisan breakdown (D/R/I) in the sample data for each state, and compare them to 2008 and 2010 exit polling:

  • Florida: CBS/NYT 36/27/32, 2008 37/34/29, 2010 36/36/29
  • Ohio: CBS/NYT 35/27/32, 2008 39/31/30, 2010 36/37/28
  • Pennsylvania: CBS/NYT 38/32/26, 2008 44/37/18, 2010 40/37/23

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.

Jim Geraghty points out another difference based on the 2008 election results:

 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.

This is something worth paying attention to, because oversampling of Democrats and Republicans could have a huge impact on the topline numbers. However, I’d caution against using the 2010 exit polls as a guide for a 2012 likely voter model. As I noted above with regard to Pennsylvania, turnout for the midterms was below what we saw in 2012, and very heavily skewed in favor of Republicans and Independents. The people who stayed home in 2010 are probably not going to do the same thing in 2012, especially if they’re Democrats. So, I’d say that the 2008 exits remain the best guide for these D/R/I breakdowns. In the case, the polls for Pennsylvania and Ohio were both largely in line with the 2008 model. The Florida poll was slightly out of line, especially for Independents, and this may explain why it’s so different from other recent Florida polling.

Additionally, Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics noted on Twitter this morning that Party Identification is not necessarily the best thing to look at in judging the validity of a poll because it can vary so wildly from poll to poll and depending on where in the polling sequence the question is asked. (you can see Trende’s discussion of these issues at his Twitter feed) Trende went on to note that all three polls were in line with the 2008 exits when it comes to self-described ideology:

  • Ohio — The 2008 Exit Poll had 20% Liberal/35% Moderate/34% Conservative. The poll has 21% Liberal/39% Moderate/35% Conservative
  • Pennsylvania — The 2008 Exit Poll had 23% Liberal/50% Moderate/27% Conservative. The poll has 20% Liberal/43% Moderate/35% Conservative
  • Florida — The 2008 Exit poll had 19% Liberal/47% Moderate/35% Conservative. The poll has 17% Liberal/40% Moderate/38% Conservative

To the extent there are differences between the 2008 exits and the polls, they tend to favor the “Moderate” and “Conservative” side of the equation, which you would think would benefit Romney at least somewhat.

The broader point is to not put too much weight on individual polls numbers but in the overall trends, which is why the Florida result here should be considered an outlier until backed up by other polling. In Ohio and, especially, Pennsylvania, though, these polls are generally consistent with the direction the race has been going over the past month or so. Obama is up in both states, and that should worry Team Romney.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Heh, as presaged by the Jan/Drew grumpiness index.

  2. James in LA says:

    My sense is the six-year video record of the lies of Mitt Romney is not likely to help him on the electoral college map. This, however, remains a math-based edifice. So…

  3. Craigo says:

    Morrissey’s quibble is baseless, as Doug points out – midterm and presidential electorates aren’t remotely similar.

    Geraghty’s is explained by the bandwagon effect – more people claim to vote for the winner than actually did so in pretty much every poll that asks the question, the same way the Beatles on Sullivan were watched by an audience of roughly one billion, and Woodstock had the population of a large American city.

  4. anjin-san says:

    I wonder how voters will react to this tidbit:

    Romney Tax Plan Would Raise Taxes on 95%
    A new Brookings Institution/Tax Policy Center study finds Mitt Romney’s plan to overhaul the tax code would produce cuts for the richest 5% of Americans — and larger bills for everybody else.

    The Washington Post notes the researchers seemed “to bend over backward to be fair to the Republican presidential candidate” but “none of it helped Romney.”

    “His rate-cutting plan for individuals would reduce tax collections by about $360 billion in 2015, the study says. To avoid increasing deficits — as Romney has pledged — the plan would have to generate an equivalent amount of revenue by slashing tax breaks for mortgage interest, employer-provided health care, education, medical expenses, state and local taxes, and child care — all breaks that benefit the middle class.”

    http://politicalwire.com/

  5. Drew says:

    I’m singing in the rain
    Just singing in the rain
    What a glorious feelin’
    I’m happy again
    I’m laughing at clouds
    So dark up above
    The sun’s in my heart
    And I’m ready for love”……………..

  6. Facebones says:

    To quote Yogi Berra, it seems to be getting late pretty early for the Romney campaign.

  7. rudderpedals says:

    @Craigo: I was thinking Geraghty’s observation doesn’t credit the extent of the Bradley affect. Both candidates are going to experience it in 2012, unlike in 08.

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    According to RCP there are 100 swing state EVs. Obama needs 23 and Romney needs 79.

  9. Xerxes says:

    Except, PPP has the race at +1 for Obama in Florida yesterday and +5 for Obama in Pennsylvania 3 days ago. PPP has a greater reputation for accuracy than Quinnipiac. In fact, the Quinnipiac sampling data implies Obama is losing in Florida due to the D+9 oversample.

  10. Wayne says:

    Like the polls have been accurate lately. They were way off in Wisconsin election and many other elections including several of the Presidential primaries, and the Senate primary this last Tuesday that had Tea Party favorite Cruz being defeated. He won by a big margin. Many of the polls including the one above have Democrats showing up by a far wider margin than Republicans will than they did in 2008.

    However, if you like to look at polls that make you feel good even though they have been terribly inaccurate of late and their weighting are known jokes, you go right ahead. It won’t help you out in November.

  11. James Joyner says:

    I think Obama’s slightly ahead in the popular race and has a pretty commanding position in the Electoral Vote race that Romney doesn’t have the chops to overcome. But I don’t believe this poll result, either—it’s simply an outlier from the other polls. Even with the Hispanic vote on his side, I don’t expect Obama to carry Florida. Ohio will likely be tight. And, for reasons we discussed on Twitter this morning, I don’t know why Pennsylvania is even in this conversation–it hasn’t been a swing state in years; it’s a blue state.

  12. EddieInCA says:

    @James Joyner:

    Even with the Hispanic vote on his side, I don’t expect Obama to carry Florida.

    Unless Rubio is on the ticket, Dr. Joyner, Obama WILL carry Florida. You have no idea how Rick Scott has tarnished the GOP brand here in FLA. The effort to disenfranchise people here is not playing well, even within GOP circles. Here’s what former Florida GOP Chairman said ON THE RECORD yesterday:

    http://thegrio.com/2012/07/30/jim-greer-ex-florida-gop-chair-says-party-officials-discussed-black-voter-suppression/

    Jim Greer, the former chair of the Florida Republican Party, has accused the GOP of engaging in voter suppression, in statements given under sworn testimony in a deposition surrounding a lawsuit he filed over an unpaid severance. Greer claims he became uncomfortable with leading the party when an official began to openly discuss voter suppression tactics that would keep blacks from participating in the electoral process.

    The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that incident occurred, according to Greer, after he had just completed a December 2009 meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, ex-Florida governor Charlie Crist’s chief of staff.

    “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. In the deposition Greer denounced some party officials as liars and “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies”

    The GOP will have a tough time here in FL, unless they disenfranchise enough Dem voters.

  13. jan says:

    @Drew:

    Yes, a perfect rendition for the day……

    @Wayne:

    It will be the people showing up in November who will decide, not the polling mathematics of the ‘experts.’ In recent times many such polls, as you already mentioned, have proven to be awkwardly off in their projections of what is really on people’s minds out there.

    As I’ve stated before, I think Obama, with the bully pulpit and the MSM weighing the news in his favor, unfortunately has the edge, which is ‘let’s party’ words for most on this blog. However, quiet upsets do happen, such as Cruz’s last night, Murdock in Indiana, and of course Walker in WI. The people behind these ‘wins’ represent the centrifugal force, directly opposing the ideology of social progressives, in an attempt to at least go back to some political center.

    November will settle, at least who ‘wins’ the election. What still remains to be seen, though, after the confetti lands and is cleaned up, is where such a victory will leave the country.

  14. Craigo says:

    @James Joyner: The RCP and Pollster averages seem to indicate that Obama, as of right now, has a floor of about 48% of the vote in FL. That’s enough to make him a very slight favorite.

  15. Scott says:

    Interesting that RCP just moved Michigan from tossup to Lean Demo without a lot of chatter accompanying that action.

  16. Craigo says:

    @Wayne: What are you talking about? The RCP average had Walker winning by about 7 points. He won by…7 points.

  17. anjin-san says:

    What still remains to be seen, though, after the confetti lands and is cleaned up, is where such a victory will leave the country.

    Probably where it is now – a hell of a lot better than when there was a Republican in the White House.

  18. Console says:

    @Wayne:

    The Wisconsin polls were spot on:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/governor/wi/wisconsin_governor_recall_election_walker_vs_barrett-3056.html

    Cruz was shown to be in the lead:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/senate/tx/texas_senate_republican_primary_runoff-3217.html

    It’s one thing to point out that polls taken months away from an election don’t predict the electoral outcome. It’s a whole nother thing to pretend polling is inaccurate. That requires just straight up ignorance about what polling means.

  19. anjin-san says:

    @ Wayne & Jan

    The polls are unfair.

    The media is unfair.

    Conservatives are victims.

    You personally are victims.

    Obama secretly hates America

    There, we have it covered. You can find something productive to do with the day now…

  20. @jan:

    the MSM weighing the news in his favor

    Always a whiner’s answer, not a winner’s.

  21. mattb says:

    For Jan and others’s I’ll note that Rasmussen’s Electoral College polling (legitimately considered by many pollsters to be among the most accurate) is currently reporting the following numbers in key swing states:

    Ohio – Obama 47% to Romney 45%
    Pennsylvania – 48% to Romney 44%
    Virginia – Obama 47% to Romney 46%
    Michigan – Obama 48% to Romney 42%
    Wisconsin – Obama 49% to Romney 46%

    Romney’s bright spot is Florida: Romney 46% to Obama 45%
    He also is leading in Iowa.
    source: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/archive/2012_electoral_college_scoreboard

    Iif you plot their current numbers of Real Clear Politics (and where there is currently no polling, expect no change — which is what Rasmussen seems to do), and leave out Colorado which they are listing a a tie, you end up with this map and outcome:

    Obama – 294
    Romney – 235
    map: http://bit.ly/R912aa

    Still a long way to go to November. But the fact that this is Rasmussen doesn’t bode all that well for Romney at this moment.

  22. mattb says:

    @jan:

    However, quiet upsets do happen, such as Cruz’s last night, Murdock in Indiana

    Please to be explaining how either of those “upsets” were quiet.

    True these were upsets in that the “insider” choice didn’t win. But neither was “quiet” and both were telegraphed and predicted well in advance of the elections.

  23. @anjin-san:

    I think you forgot to cap it:

    The polls are unfair.

    The media is unfair.

    Conservatives are victims.

    You personally are victims.

    Obama secretly hates America

    We’re number one!

  24. anjin-san says:

    But the fact that this is Rasmussen doesn’t bode all that well for Romney at this moment.

    Nor does the fact that Romney’s campaign has done nothing but flounder since he became the presumtive nominee. He desperately needs to put a win on the board, and the GOP establishment has to be getting very nervous about the debates.

  25. PJ says:

    @James Joyner:

    I don’t know why Pennsylvania is even in this conversation–it hasn’t been a swing state in years; it’s a blue state.

    I guess they should start asking voters in Pennsylvania if they have an ID and throw away the results of those who haven’t.

  26. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Ultimately, the question of where we head if Obama wins is what happens with Congress. If the GOP dominates both the House and the Senate, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t continue their opposition at all costs whatever happens. It would be a smart strategy since a) they would undermine Obama and b) they would pay no electoral cost.

  27. Moosebreath says:

    @PJ:

    Florida as well. And Ohio. And Wisconsin.

    And people wonder why some think the crop of Voter ID laws are a way of ensuring Romney will carry swing states, as the PA House Majority leader bragged.

  28. mattb says:

    @anjin-san:
    I’m not sure if its fair to say they’ve floundered. But they sure as hell have yet to take advantage of the current enthusiasm gap (though I guess you can call that floundering).

    To the degree that, all things considered (economy, enthusiasm gap, etc), the swing states remain so close is a problem for Romney.

    What remains to be seen is if Obama can close that enthusiasm gap — either by getting Democrats more fired up or, to your point, getting Republicans more disappointed.

  29. jan says:

    @mattb:

    Both Lugar and Dewhurst were considered the favorites to win their primaries. Murdock and Cruz were, especially earlier in the campaign, the underdog longshots. Maybe you’re not surprised, but I am that these two were able to pull it off. Teas are considered ‘outliers’ of political elites, and both Murdock and Cruz were unabashedly teaparty candidates, under the folds of any GOP establishment support — hence the reference to ‘quiet’ upset.

    After all, when you look at some of the more publicized midterm races, teaparty candidates didn’t do all that well, in Nevada, Alaska, Colorado or Delaware. But, they are obviously not running away from elective office, winning recent primaries. Consequently, it will be interesting to see how they do in the GE, this time.

    @john personna:

    “Always a whiner’s answer, not a winner’s. “

    Another’s observations don’t set well with you JP, when they aren’t your own. …always a sour grape, huh.

  30. Scott says:

    I didn’t think Cruz’ win was a surprise. The politics of bitterness, resentment, and victimization is alive and well here in Texas.

  31. @jan:

    There is no unified MSM. It is a figment, a ploy, and at worst a delusion.

    How anyone who links to the right wing machine, on the radio, on tv, in print, on the webs, can deny this is beyond me.

    You’ve got this funny little world where “the media” is out there, subtracting all “the media” you like, and “they are against you.”

  32. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, the chances of Obama not leading in the pre-election media polling of the most crucial battleground states fall somewhere between CNN and Gallup, which is to say slim to none. Whether or not the actual votes will jibe with the polling data remains to be seen, especially in Florida and Ohio. There’s a good chance they won’t. Ask President Kerry.

    That said, certainly it’s more than feasible that Obama will win Florida or Ohio, or both states, which of course in any case will mean that he’ll be reelected. Florida has a much higher than average percentage of blacks and Ohio is quite the unionized state. Ohio also for the past year or two has been doing pretty darn well economically speaking, ironically enough, if you’re Mitt Romney, because of the policies implemented by Kasich & Co.

    If I were a betting man, however, which of course I am, I’d say that Romney ultimately will prevail both in Ohio and in Florida, the best efforts of CBS/NYT notwithstanding. Just a gut feeling. Call it a hunch.

  33. mantis says:

    @jan:

    Both Lugar and Dewhurst were considered the favorites to win their primaries.

    Incumbents are usually expected to win, especially in party primaries. However, polling predicted for weeks before the primaries that the challenger would win. The challengers won. Pretending that the polls said otherwise makes you look stupid or crazy. Which is it?

    under the folds of any GOP establishment support

    I don’t know what this is supposed to mean, but I believe you are saying they had no establishment support. You do know that Jim DeMint is part of the GOP establishment, right? And that there is a “Tea Party Caucus?”

    After all, when you look at some of the more publicized midterm races, teaparty candidates didn’t do all that well, in Nevada, Alaska, Colorado or Delaware. But, they are obviously not running away from elective office, winning recent primaries.

    More poorly constructed sentences, but I take it to mean you think that the Tea Party fails of 2010 did not defeat incumbents in primaries. This is false. Lisa Murkowski was an incumbent, and Miller beat her before getting embarrassed by her in the general. Plus, in Delaware, Mike Castle was not an incumbent in the Senate race but had held the statewide House seat for the state for 18 years prior to running for Senate, so he was about as close to an incumbent as you can get without holding the seat.

    Consequently, it will be interesting to see how they do in the GE, this time.

    Well, yes, but not for the reasons you state. Anyway, Cruz will roll right over the Democrat nobody’s ever heard of, because it’s Texas. Mourdock has a much tougher fight on his hands in Indiana. But neither of those candidates are the kind of Tea Party crazies we saw in 2010. They both have recently or currently held statewide offices (Treasurer and Solicitor General), and while they may hold extreme positions, they don’t seem to be batshit crazy like the likes of O’Donnell and Angle.

  34. michael reynolds says:

    It may come down to GOP vote-theft operations in Florida and Pennsylvania.

    I’ll say this: if Mr. Romney can’t win with 8% unemployment, a gazillion dollars and major overt efforts to steal the vote in two swing states, Mr. Obama will have proven to be some kind of electoral superman.

  35. jan says:

    @john personna:

    I never have said the MSM is against me, per se. But, it definitely has a more liberal POV, as noted in OTB’s ‘Journalists lean left’ piece, which is depicted in it’s presentation of the “news.” There have been polls asking reporters their party affiliations, and the majority are liberal. Network news, mostly liberal, snags most of the U.S. viewership, in comparison to cable news (where Fox dominates).

    Then you have so many print publications, such as the NYT, WAPO, LAT, who also bend over backwards to sanitize what they can get away with about Obama’s economic record. I remember when Bush had an UE in the 4’s, and other economic indicators in much healthier ranges, and the MSM was constantly berating these figures as being ‘terrible.’ You’re the one being disingenuous in not acknowledging this. For example, just look at the reluctance of the MSM to involve itself with the F&F debacle, until it had to.

  36. jan says:

    @mantis:

    they don’t seem to be batshit crazy like the likes of O’Donnell and Angle.

    I totally agree with the above statement. However, the teas are becoming more savvy and discriminating in their candidate selection. So, perhaps they will do better in ’12.

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    Reality leans left, which is why you and Drew and Wayne and Florack always implode in the face of questioning. An opinion on media bias from a Republican is like an opinion on persecution from a paranoid schizophrenic. It’s not the fault of the media that you believe nonsense.

  38. de stijl says:

    @jan:

    I remember when Bush had an UE in the 4′s, and other economic indicators in much healthier ranges, and the MSM was constantly berating these figures as being ‘terrible.’

    I’d like a cite on that.

  39. wr says:

    @jan: “I remember when Bush had an UE in the 4′s, and other economic indicators in much healthier ranges, and the MSM was constantly berating these figures as being ‘terrible.’”

    Since you “remember” this so well, why don’t you go ahead and post some links so we can all share in the memory. Unless, of course, when you say “remember” you mean “lie shamelessly, hoping no one will call me on it.” In which case, no links are necessary.

  40. David M says:

    The unemployment rate was under 5% in the 2006/2007 range, and oddly enough we now know that the economy did have some pretty severe fundamental problems that were going to become apparent in 2008. Too bad those warning signs were ignored. (I’m sure this was the point Jan was trying to make.)

  41. @jan:

    As I said there:

    You are hanging a lot on 10%. 40% tilt left, and 30% tilt right.

    That’s actually pretty even, and it is less than even odds that any journalist you meet will be a leftist.

    People misinterpret that data. But then people have problems with this kind of statistical problem. If you have

    9 ping-pong balls that say “far left”
    31 balls that say “left”
    33 that say “center”
    20 say “right”
    5 say “far right”

    You put them in a sack and shake them up. What are the odds that the first ball pulled from the bag will be “left?”

    Your condemnation of the MSM depends on a greater than even chance that the sample will be left, but it is not.

    You can group it either way .. most journalists are center or right … most journalists are center or left … without the center you are looking at minorities.

  42. (Of course you can name stories or outlets that look for left to you. Sure, they are in the left most minority. People can name stories or outlets that look right too. With good reason. There is a solid minority on the right as well.)

  43. @this:

    Maybe you are upset because you understand that there is a 75% that an article will be center or left, and you want it to be over there, hard right. You correctly understand that only about 25% of journalists, and outlets, are toeing that line.

  44. C. Clavin says:

    Romney’s Tax Plan mathematically impossible.
    I thought he was the guy that knows how the economy works?
    He must of been talking about the same imaginary economy that the Laffer Curve applies to.

  45. MBunge says:

    @Console: “It’s a whole nother thing to pretend polling is inaccurate.”

    The problem isn’t pretending polling in inaccurate. The problem is believing that ONLY polling which is good news for Democrats is inaccurate while proclaiming any and all polls that show Republicans ahead as being unquestionably determinative.

    Mike

  46. anjin-san says:

    For example, just look at the reluctance of the MSM to involve itself with the F&F debacle, until it had to.

    Or we could look at the US attorney firing scandal under Bush, which the media ignored for quite a while. Josh Marshall singlehandedly kept the story alive for over a year, and persisted until the mainstream media could ignore it no longer.

  47. anjin-san says:

    the MSM was constantly berating these figures as being ‘terrible

    Standing by for some links to support this claim. It should be easy, as the media was doing it “constantly”…

  48. sam says:

    On the likability thing, the Gov. Romney has a real problem when to most folks he comes across like this guy.

  49. anjin-san says:

    @ sam

    Great link. And of course the Enron crew was asking why. Why can’t we just rob consumers blind?

  50. J-Dub says:

    @jan:

    November will settle, at least who ‘wins’ the election. What still remains to be seen, though, after the confetti lands and is cleaned up, is where such a victory will leave the country.

    I know where we won’t be under President Obama; Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria. All places where we might be under a Bush Romney presidency.

  51. J-Dub says:

    What does Romney have left to say that could sway voters to his side that he hasn’t said already? It seems there are nothing but negatives left to be uncovered; his tax returns and the effect of his tax cut proposal on the middle class to name two. Seems to me Romney has nowhere to go but down.

  52. Scott O says:

    @john personna:
    Just as with LIBOR, insiders (@Drew: ) are trying to artificially adjust the J/DGI.

  53. michael reynolds says:

    @J-Dub:

    That’s likely true, but he does still have the convention and the debates. The real campaign is just beginning.

  54. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    “Or we could look at the US attorney firing scandal under Bush, which the media ignored for quite a while. Josh Marshall single handedly kept the story alive for over a year, and persisted until the mainstream media could ignore it no longer. “

    The above story was such a ruse, with the end result being getting rid of Bush’s AG (Alberto Gonzales), considering that firing attorneys>, from one administration to another, has been noted all the way back to the Reagan administration.

    In fact, where Bush was lambasted and pillared for firing 8 U.S. Attorneys, remember how many were fired in the Clinton Administration:

    Why not focus on the Clinton administration’s having “fired all 93 U.S. attorneys” when Janet Reno became attorney-general in March 1993? The idea was introduced in a memo from a Justice Department spokeswoman.

    Plus, I think sending guns over the border, with no tracking mechanism (which ended up involved in the deaths of innocents), is far more salacious and deviant of an act than the insider dismissals of US attorneys. BTW, where are those same Democrats who called for Bush’s AG to quit, in lieu of Eric Holder’s F&F obfuscations?

    For those who want links of economic and UE numbers under Bush, they can be googled, and then spun as you see fit, on your own time.

  55. Wayne says:

    @Consol
    Are we within a week of the election or months out? Which past polls are more relevant to today polls, the ones taken a week out or the ones taken months out?

    They are spot on when you can pick and chose which one to look at and when they were taken while using hindsight. Polls taken and “sometime” released right before the election are often more reliable. That doesn’t say anything about the polls taken months out. Isn’t it amazing how some of the polling firm adjust the demographics to fall in line in what many expect compared to them weighting them more heavily Democrats further out from an election?

    The exit polls in the Wisconsin recall were way off. They were taken on election day.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/05/recall-vote-is-judgment-day-for-wisconsin-governor/
    As were some taken months out.

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/poll-shows-scott-walker-in-trouble-against-dems-in-recall.php

    Certainly, you would agree it is appropriate to point out that they weight polls differently months out compare to right before an election? Also that they are often way off from the final results?
    Many polling firms show very different results at all stages. They all can’t be right. So pretending they all are accurate is another thing.

  56. Wayne says:

    @anjin-san]
    It is funny how liberals consider pointing out facts that don’t fit their agenda as whining. Liberals can’t handle being confronted with the facts. The early polls mean little. The one that counts are the elections. 2010 elections went big time Republican way. Most special elections have gone our way. So you can keep “winning” in the early polls as long as we keep winning the elections.

    @ Michael Reynolds
    You liberals are the one’s that implode in face of questioning. Who resorted to name calling and not answering questions first? You liberals.

    You are so brainwash by the media and unable to think for yourself that you fall for any nonsense they throw you way. You are so pathetic.Now I will wait while the liberals scream about blog indicate about not insulting others and respecting others opinion while not understanding they are being hypocrites .

  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    jan:

    sending guns over the border, with no tracking mechanism (which ended up involved in the deaths of innocents), is far more salacious and deviant of an act than the insider dismissals of US attorneys

    Then you must be upset with GWB, since he “[sent] guns over the border, with no tracking mechanism.”

  58. de stijl says:

    @jan:

    The above story was such a ruse, with the end result being getting rid of Bush’s AG (Alberto Gonzales), considering that firing attorneys>, from one administration to another, has been noted all the way back to the Reagan administration.

    In fact, where Bush was lambasted and pillared for firing 8 U.S. Attorneys, remember how many were fired in the Clinton Administration:

    Good Lord, you’re ill informed. Please, for your own sake, read up just a little bit about something before plucking talking points from the ether. I’m not going to educate you on the US Attorney firing scandal ‘cuz it would just be so tiring and it probably wouldn’t work. Try Google or Wiki.

    OR JUST TRY TRY READING PAST THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THE ARTICLE YOU LINKED TO!!!

  59. Terrye says:

    This poll is absurd..I do not know who is going to win in November, but I do know that the demographics of this poll are wrong.

    You can go to powerline for numbers, and Hot Air as well, but suffice to to say that they over polled Democrats and underpolled Republicans..

    From Hot Air:

    Now let’s take a look at the partisan breakdown (D/R/I) in the sample data for each state, and compare them to 2008 and 2010 exit polling:

    Florida: CBS/NYT 36/27/32, 2008 37/34/29, 2010 36/36/29
    Ohio: CBS/NYT 35/27/32, 2008 39/31/30, 2010 36/37/28
    Pennsylvania: CBS/NYT 38/32/26, 2008 44/37/18, 2010 40/37/23

    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.

  60. jukeboxgrad says:

    From Hot Air

    Someone else who can’t read. Doug already cited that analysis and explained why it’s not very good.

  61. anjin-San says:

    @ jan

    We are all familiar with the Bush economy. What we would like to see is some confirmation that the media “constantly” took Bush to task for the “terrible” economy. You made this claim, now back it up. Or run from your own words. Your choice.

  62. An Interested Party says:

    For those who want links of economic and UE numbers under Bush, they can be googled, and then spun as you see fit, on your own time.

    In other words, you can’t prove your blatant lies….if nothing else, at least you are consistent…

    It is funny how liberals consider pointing out facts that don’t fit their agenda as whining. Liberals can’t handle being confronted with the facts.

    Pot, meet kettle…

  63. Wayne says:

    @ jukeboxgrad
    GWB “Operation Wide Receiver” used radio tracking devices implanted in the guns. They notify Mexico when those guns cross the border. They discontinue the operation when the gunrunners found out about them and started to disable the tracking devices.

    Some other differences.

    http://coffeenchat.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/operation-wide-receiver-vs-operation-fast-and-furious/

  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    wayne:

    GWB “Operation Wide Receiver” used radio tracking devices implanted in the guns.

    In Wide Receiver, there was no attempt to track most of the weapons. On one occasion, “some firearms” were equipped with a tracking chip, but the method was quite inept, and it utterly failed. Link.

    They notify Mexico when those guns cross the border.

    More baloney. Same link.

    By the way, Obama also used devices to track at least some of the guns. Link.

    coffeenchat.wordpress.com

    Your source is dishonest, just like you. They make this claim regarding Wide Receiver:

    the guns all were fitted with transmitters for tracking

    “All?” Really? Follow his link to theoutdoorwire.com. It’s the same article I cited. That article indicates only “some” guns were tracked that way, not “all.” Why are you citing a source that thinks “some” and “all” are synonyms?

  65. jan says:

    @An Interested Party:

    “In other words, you can’t prove your blatant lies….if nothing else, at least you are consistent…”

    It’s these kind of remarks that provide little incentive for time-consuming data digging. Besides, prying open a closed mind — what’s the point.

  66. jukeboxgrad says:

    It’s these kind of remarks that provide little incentive for time-consuming data digging.

    English translation: ‘As usual, I’ve made a claim that has no support outside my imagination. And I don’t have the courage to admit that there is no proof for my claim, so instead I will hide behind a lame excuse. And what you can expect me to do in the future is continue to simply make shit up.’

  67. jukeboxgrad says:

    From Hot Air

    And aside from the issue that was discussed by Doug and Sean Trende, notice that Ed said this:

    Ohio’s sample has exactly the split in 2008 … these polls are entirely predictive if one believes that Democrats will outperform their turnout models from the 2008 election in Florida and Ohio.

    That first sentence is correct, and it indicates that the second sentence is incorrect, with regard to Ohio.

    I’ve noticed that Ed often does sloppy work, and I’ve also noticed that his readers almost never notice his sloppy work. They are a match made in heaven.

  68. Console says:

    @Wayne:

    Polling is a snapshot of the electorate at the point the poll was taken. There is certainly valuable information there if you know the behavior of electorates (which is why campaigns pay lots of money for polling). Polls also don’t claim to have 100 percent confidence. There is a margin of error, and usually a 5 to 1 percent chance that the poll is completely wrong. So over the course of a campaign, there’s enough polls that outliers will happen. But there’s also enough polls that a picture emerges. For this presidential election, that picture is that Obama is the favorite. That picture can change, but it won’t change based on amateurish attacks on pollsters.

    You really want to know the true state of the horse race then there’s 3 sites to go to.

    You want good analysis along with an amazing prediction model based on polling and various other factors, go to:
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com

    You want a polling aggregator that keeps track of every poll that comes out for a given race (and that will blow conservative smoke up your ass in their articles) then go to:
    http://realclearpolitics.com/

    You want a place that’s good for info on obscure races and live-blogging results and that will blow liberal smoke up your ass then go to (formerly swingstateproject):
    http://elections.dailykos.com/

    Those places will keep you grounded more so than news organizations that need close races for ratings, or partisan outlets that only show good news and try to explain away bad news. Of course… some people don’t want grounding, they want their fantasy.

  69. anjin-san says:

    time-consuming data digging.

    Please. According to you, the media was “constantly” on Bush about the “terrible” economy. Producing some links should consume all of ten seconds.

    This assumes, of course, that your claim is not utter BS.

  70. anjin-san says:

    @ Wayne

    The one that counts are the elections. 2010 elections went big time Republican way

    And the 2008 elections went big time Democratic. That did not carry them very far two years later.

    Every election is different. They have these things called history books you can check out to help confirm this.

    If you want a good picture of the electction without the partisan BS, check out Charlie Cook & Nate Silver. Personally, I think you prefer the partisan BS and wallowing in right wing victimhood.

  71. Console says:

    @anjin-san:

    I got a comment in moderation that suggests Silver and Realclearpolitics. I also think swingstateproject (at the dailykos now) is great for info.

    Nate Silver was probably the only person that kept me sane during the 2008 primary and election.

  72. anjin-san says:

    @ Console

    Based on 2008, Silver is the big dog. It will be interesting to see if he can repeat that performance. My sense is that to some extent at least. he has built a better mousetrap.

  73. wr says:

    @jan: Darn that Interested Party! Here Jan was finally going to provide evidence to back up one of her ridiculous lies, and then IP gets all mean and in her grill about it, and now her feelings are so hurt that she’s not going to grace us with her evidence. Bad Interested Party! Bad!

  74. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    prying open a closed mind

    I’m not sure how to break this to you, but the fact that someone does not respect a serial liar does not mean they have a “closed mind”…

  75. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    Yawnnnn….

    Another crass comment from anjin. Reminds me a meter-maid who needs to fulfill a quota.

  76. jukeboxgrad says:

    Few things are more crass than being an incorrigible bullshitter. That’s you.