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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama Leads by 1 in WAPO-ABC Poll

In a post yesterday, Damn the Polls, I attempted to persuade my readers that polling was not always accurate and even if one could assert with perfect certitude that Obama was leading by a wide margin panic was not the appropriate response. It's fair to state that those opinions were expressed by most conservatives but a few were ready to concede the election. Bring out the hari kari knives!
In my opinion nothing that went on at the Democratic convention changed the reality that existed the week before. Are we to believe that the election could be change by the oratory of Obama and Clinton? Maybe it was Sandra Fluke or Harry Reid whose lucid prose would set the nation on the path to liberal nirvana. In any event there was an Obama bounce both in his electoral percentage and his personal approval ratings to a level not seen since bin Laden's death. Pundits call what happened a bounce for a reason. It goes up and then come down.
The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, released just hours ago gives Obama a 1 point lead among likely voters, 49% to 48%, well within the margin of error. Among the broader "registered voters " sample Obama leads 50% to 44% but 71% of registered voters blame the poor economy on Obama at least partially.
Some would say polling is more of an art than a science and even with the best techniques (and they change over time and sometimes quickly) they are imperfect. Two points I would like to make in closing. Some polls are deliberately skewed. The PPP poll I cited yesterday that showed Obama leading by 1 point in North Carolina had 47% of the respondents self-identified as Democrats. Until 2008 North Carolina was a red state. Obama only carried it by 14,000 votes. To conduct a poll with a sample containing 47% Democrats, 34% Republicans and 20% independents is more propaganda than serious polling. The Obama campaign has reduced its ad buys in North Carolina and is pulling a stealth withdrawal. The second point to keep in mind when looking at national polls is Romney will not carry California, Illinois, or New York so any bounce Obama gets in these states is wasted but the heightened enthusiasm in these states will skew national polls without changing the election outcome.

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