Tomorrow’s Wisconsin balloting can now be seen as not merely a test for Republican versus Democratic strength (Romney vs. Obama) come November, but with new polling data out today, it can be seen as a test of polling authenticity, and yes as even a test of the validity of those who average polls.
PPP, that Democratic propaganda machine which masquerades as a polling company, has incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker up only three points (50-47) on the very same day We Ask American has Walker up no less than 12 points (54-42).
Huffington Pollster (yes, that would be a left leaning group) went so far as to headline today’s story “Eleventh Hour Poll Shows Walker With Slim Lead” and revealed its average of polls showing Walker up only 3.8 points (50.4-46.6).
Meanwhile, over at Realclearpolitics.com, the average of polls shows Walker ahead by 6.7 points (51.5-44.8).
That’s nearly a three point difference not in polls mind you, but in the average of polls!
My guess is that RCP has it about right, that Walker should win by six points or so. You know what; Barack Obama believes that as well; he’s avoided a trip to Wisconsin because he knows the Democratic candidate (gosh, I’ve even forgotten his name) has virtually no chance of pulling this one out.
National Democrats appear to be sorry that their Wisconsin unionists ever pushed this to the point of recall because a Walker win in the six point vicinity would mean this state, which Obama won handily in 2008, is very much in play. Marquette University had Walker up seven points (52-45) late last week.
Following last Friday’s dismal jobs report, Obama has taken a hit of only about a point in approval ratings. RCP has him at only -0.4 (47.8-48.2) while pollster has him at -1.3 (48.5-47.2). Rasmussen has it -5 (47-52) while Gallup has it plus two (47-45).
Intriguingly, both have the President slightly extending his nationwide lead over Romney (2.6 points with RCP and 1.5 with Pollster) at the same time that Romney is pulling even or ahead in some single state polling (lagging indicators).
For example, look at three states which Obama won in 2008 and seemed to be heading for wins again this year, at least until NBC News/Marist came out with new numbers Thursday. It’s now dead even 44-44 in Iowa, and Obama leads by only one (46-45) in Colorado and only two (48-46) in Nevada which I was about ready to write off to the anointed one.
Romney has also pulled slightly ahead in the averages in Florida. Rasmussen had him up two (46-44) in Ohio last week and today has him even (47-47) in Virginia.
It’s so bad that Pollster, which had him up to 270 electoral votes, has had to scale that back to 257-181 (RCP Obama ahead only 237-170).
While RCP has New Hampshire as a toss-up, Pollster continues to show it as not merely slightly for Obama (light blue) but in the safe Obama (dark blue) category.
Similarly, pollster has not moved Wisconsin to toss-up while RCP has.
In fact, pollster lists only Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, and Missouri as toss-ups. I’d certainly place Missouri in the leans Romney column (even PPP has Obama up only one point, 45-44).
It’s further evidence that you have to take not only polls, but polling averages and projections, with a grain of salt.
Look at this data out of Massachusetts for example. We all know Obama will carry the state, but the question is by how much. The Boston Globe today has Romney only trailing by 12 and failing to hit 50 percent (46-34) while Western New England today has the margin at 22 points (56-34). Given those numbers, the Senate race should not be surprising. The Globe has Scott Brown up two (39-37) while WNE has Elizabeth The Liar Warren up two (45-43).
Oh by the way, did anyone notice what Massachusetts Democrats, who like New Hampshire Democrats seem so dead set against photo ID for voting requirements, required for voting at their state convention over the weekend?
If you said—a photo ID—you would be correct, a fact which most certainly come up when the New Hampshire House debates a photo ID bill Wednesday.
You just can’t this stuff up.
But I digress. This column is supposed to be devoted exclusively to polls.
No apologies, however. Digressions are part of life.
Micah Cohen, in fivethirtyeight.com, last week noted, albeit somewhat skeptically, improved support for gay marriage among African Americans since Obama came out in favor of the equality measure.
According to Pew Research, black support of gay marriage was negative ten (39-49) prior to Obama’s statement. ABC News now finds 59 percent of blacks support gay marriage. PPP found opposition at 44-51 percent in North Carolina has now turned to 55-39 positive. That’s an amazing 23 point swing since Obama’s declaration, and while I don’t trust PPP’s overall numbers, I always find it valid for comparison purposes.
Similarly, PPP finds a flip in Maryland, from 39 to 55 percent in favor while opposition has dropped from 56 to 36.
Long Live Lady Liberty!
Obama has set his people free!
As for the generic congressional ballot, Rasmussen has the Republican lead up to seven points (44-37) today, but CNN had Democrats up three (49-46) last week--prior to the dismal jobs report, it should be noted..