Huckleby wrote:I saw Karl Rove on FOX yesterday with his little white board, explaining how the shift to Republicans in Ohio early voting meant Obama was doomed in Ohio. Hell, maybe he is right, who really knows?
He made a side comment that caught my ear: Real Clear Politics is democratic leaning because they incorporate a lot of flawed polls that oversample Dems. That leads me to believe that RCP must be on the level.
Rove might just be spewing propoganda that he knows is wrong in both cases. But I tend to think he is a sincere man who values his reputation as an analyst. I didn't say he is right, or personally likable. He is a very smart guy who has introduced a lot of the voter-wrangling techniques that have been widely adopted.
By now, everybody knows the argument: 1) Democratic leaning polls are operating under the assumption that the 2012 election will mirror or increase the Democratic advantage of 2008; but 2) 2008 is a terrible model to predict the 2012 turnout; and 3) the turnout composition of the electorate is the key question about what is going to happen on election day.
I'm sure Huckleby would be the first to admit the following: 2008 was a horrible year for Republicans - even they were sick of Bush. Obama got his share of the vote because 1) Deomocratic enthusiasm was at a 30 year high, 2) Republican enthusaism was at a 30 year low, and independents broke for Obama by 7 points or so.
Like Huckleby, I'm not saying it means Republicans will win but 1) this year Romney has a 7 point or so edge with independents, 2) moderate Democrats equal a measurable decrease in Democratic enthusiasm, and 3) Republicans are more enthusiastic. According to Pew and Gallup there is no Democratic advantage party v. party, which means it's up to the independents. According to almost every poll in the nation, Romney leads with independents.
To offset Romney's partisan tie + independent lead, Obama needs to win by grinding up turnout. Unlike Huckleby, I will go so far as to say that when a campaign faces that proposition, that's not a strategically favorable position to be in. Look at voter's chief concern - unhappiness about the economy, disatisfaction with the president's economic policies - it begs the question of just how it is in this environment we are to reliably expect the incumbent team to win the turnout game on election day? (Much less win it by a margin that offsets the independents).
The "state polls are right" argument rests on this very assumption: D+5-D+9, vs D+0/R+0. Such is the case in Ohio.
I've only searched casually, but I'm not aware of a modern election where the person who wins the independents has not gone on to win the white house. First time for everything?