It’s all tied up, CNN reports, with just two days left in the presidential race. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both get 49%, and tie on every major indicator. And this might be good news for Barack Obama, until they look at the sample (via Twitchy):
It’s all tied up, according to a new national poll released two days before the presidential election.
And the CNN/ORC International survey not only indicates a dead heat in the race for the White House, but also on almost every major indicator of President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney that was tested in the poll.
Forty-nine percent of likely voters questioned say they support the president, with an equal amount saying they back the former Massachusetts governor.
The poll is the fourth national non-partisan, live operator survey released Sunday to indicate the battle for the presidency either a dead heat or virtually tied. A Politico/George Washington University survey has it tied at 48%; an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll indicates Obama at 48% and Romney at 47%; and the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll puts Obama at 49% and Romney at 48%.
Only this poll turns out to be bad news for Barack Obama. Why? According to CNN’s internals of this likely-voter survey, Obama doesn’t come close to tying Romney in one key indicator — independent voters. According to the sample data, Romney leads independents by a whopping twenty-two points, 59/37. How can Romney have a 22-point lead among independents but still only get to a 49-all tie with Obama?
Among those likely voters, 41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans.
Yes, that’s a D/R/I of 41/30/29. In 2008, a big turnout election for Democrats, the D/R/I was 39/32/29, and Obama won independents by eight points. Despite Republicans having a five-point edge in this very poll among those “extremely enthusiastic” about voting, the CNN poll has added four points to the Democrats’ advantage in this sample.
Let’s also take a look at the gender gap. In 2008, Obama got a +14 in the gender gap, with a +13 among women and a +1 among men. In this poll, Romney wins men by nine (53/44) and Obama wins women by eight (53/45) for a gender gap advantage of +1 for Romney.
So we are expected to believe that since 2008, (a) Obama has lost thirty points in the gap with independents, (b) Obama has lost fifteen points in the gender gap, and (c) Obama is still just four points below his 2008 share of the electorate? Only in a world where 41% of the voters will be Democrats and only 30% Republicans, and that world won’t be what we see tomorrow.