THE TRUTH BEHIND THE POLLS

Most analysts agree that Mr. Romney must win most of the “battle-ground” states – Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Colorado –  to win the election.  The two most crucial of these are probably Florida and Ohio – Florida because it has 29 electoral votes, the largest of the group, and Ohio, because no Republican has ever won the Presidency without carrying the state.  At the present time, most polls show Mr. Romney trailing in both states, in some cases outside the margin of error.

So, it would seem that barring a major comeback in the debates or a major Obama gaffe, the race is over.  Right?  Well, not so fast.

What most people don’t realize is that the polls are not as scientific as one might think.  The subjectivity enters the picture as pollsters have to adjust the raw numbers  to account accurately for the undercounting of men, minorities and young people.  Pollsters know that women are more likely to answer the phone than men.  Minorities and young people are two demographic groups that are harder to reach, particularly since many of them use cell phones rather than landlines.  Therefore, they use a formula to adjust those numbers upward.  On a net basis, this increases Mr. Obama’s polling numbers.  The question is, is the adjustment accurate or exaggerated?

Pollsters have been using the last Presidential election as a guide, which is standard procedure.  But, 2008 was a record turnout for both young people and African Americans, which is highly unlikely to be repeated.  Hence, Mr. Obama’s support is probably being overstated by enough to make it apprear that he is winning in Florida and Ohio whereas, in reality, both states are “toss-ups.”  It will all hinge on the debates and then the turnout.  The main point, however, is that the race is not the foregone conclusion that most pollsters and the liberal-leaning media would have you believe.

It is uncertain whether this is an accidential miscalculation or a deliberate conspiracy to mislead and discourage Romney supporters.  I guess one would have to consult his or her inner Oliver Stone.  All one can do is remember the Truman-Dewey election and show up on Election Day.

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