Some right wing extremists in the media (yes, Sean Hannity would be among them) are now contending that, based on Wisconsin results last week and continuing bad news on the economic front, Mitt Romney is not only going to beat Barack Obama, but he’s going to win in a landslide.
Thus, your assignment this week, should you choose to accept it, is to polling proof (if any actually exists) that this could in fact come to pass.
Take your time, but while you’re looking, I have of course already completed the task. While the landslide claim is still rather far-fetched, considering that Romney still trails in nationwide averages, there is in fact some evidence that Obama could be in trouble.
Two weeks ago, for example, pollster (as in Huffington Post) had Obama beyond the magic 270 number for the Electoral College. Today, with both Wisconsin and Michigan having moved to the toss-up category, Obama’s lead is down to 244-191, but it could be worse than that for Obama.
Pollster still has New Hampshire as dark blue (very likely Obama) while Real Clear Politics (which has Obama ahead only 221-170 on the electoral front) lists New Hampshire as a true toss-up.
Pollster also has Virginia as light blue (leans to Obama) while most other outfits have it as a toss-up.
Pollster has Obama’s lead nationwide at 1.8 points (45.9-44.1) while RCP has it down to a precarious 0.8 points (45.7-44.9).
They both have Obama’s popularity slipping into negative territory, -0.7 (47.7-48.4) with RCP and -1.3 (46.9-48.2) with pollster.
Of course, state polls are what really matter most at this time, and there are certainly disquieting signs for Obama. A new Michigan poll (Baydoun/Foster which is in fact a Democratic polling outfit) has Obama up only one in the state, 47-46. Without Michigan, Obama could in fact lose by an electoral landslide, so there’s some proof.
Rasmussen actually has Romney up three in Wisconsin (47-44); so much for those exit polls last week which showed Obama up by close to double digits. Without Wisconsin, Obama could in fact lose by an electoral landslide, so there’s more proof.
Rasmussen also has Republican Tommy Thompson way ahead of Baldwin—16 points (52-36) for the Wisconsin Senate seat.
Some pundits are saying that, despite having his nominating convention in North Carolina, Obama will have to write that state off by Labor Day. I can see why. PPP, the polling firm with a deep Democratic bias, actually has Obama trailing by two (48-46) in the Tar Heel State. If PPP says two, he’s probably really down five or six points. PPP also has Obama up only six (48-42) in Nevada, so that’s probably tied. (My new way of looking at PPP polls is to take four to six points away from Obama in each).
We are blessed with a wealth of polls from states which really don’t matter—they are not in play, but we can look at the margins to get an idea of trends. In Pennsylvania, for example, Quinnipiac has Obama up only six points (46-40) at the same time it has Democratic incumbent Senator Casey up 19 (51-32). Thus, we can put Pennsylvania in the danger zone for Obama, more evidence that, horror of horrors, Sean Hannity could be right.
There is indeed some evidence that Romney could win big. (In my New Years predictions, I had Romney winning 53-47 with about 300 electoral votes; not exactly a landslide but not all that close either).
I’ve been searching without success for new data out of New Hampshire. American Research Group seems more interested in rating the pollsters rather than conducting its own new polls these days, so we’ll just have to wait.
Fivethirtyeight.com still has Obama as a 69-31 favorite to win New Hampshire, with a vote in the range of 52.2-47.8, but that will change rapidly if new polling data shows Romney improving here. I expect that may well be the case.
Siena has Obama up 24 points (59-35), but that’s in New York State, and that’s about what we would expect. Democratic Senator Gillibrand is up 38 points (63-25) in her race, so Obama is actually running somewhat worse than down ballot races.
The lack of coattails could prove devastating for Democrats in Senate and Congressional races.
Rasmussen has Romney up seven (49-42) in Missouri (I think we should color that state light red) and up one (47-46) in Iowa which I had as leaning toward Obama.
Yes indeed that’s another sign that a landslide, albeit by close margins (an oxymoronic landslide), could be in the offing.
Just to think, when I began this assignment, I didn’t think a landslide was possible.
I just might have changed my own mind.
If you go to pollster, you might want to do something I have NOT done. Read Mark Blumenthal’s article “Why Did Democratic Polls Get Wisconsin Wrong?” I’m satisfied that they were wrong and thus can’t be trusted as much in the future. I don’t need to know why, especially since my brother and sister-in-law are coming for the weekend, and I’ve got to clean the house.
Rasmussen has Republicans up comfortably, six points (45-39) in the generic Congressional ballot this week—that sounds about right, but will it be enough to carry Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass back into office?
Wir warden sehen.
They’re outdoor types (no museums please; no politics either—I trust they have never voted for Bernie Sanders, but we don’t talk about it). Any suggestion as to where I should take them (last year we tried the Ogunquit walk; we usually end up at Hampton Beach) would be welcome.