Green Room

Fishing Polls

posted at 6:48 am on October 26, 2012 by

No matter how you may personally feel about evolution in the biological sense, you’ve got to be fascinated by the rapid evolution of the media meme on the last three weeks of polling data in the presidential race. Prior to the first debate, the story was:

“Mitt Romney is a fine man with a great mind for business, but he’s a terrible politician and Barack Obama is winning with a slim but comfortable margin.”

After a couple of debates, it changed to:

“Mitt’s strong performance certainly helped him, but it doesn’t look like quite enough. Obama still wins in a nail biter.”

And now, with one poll after another racking up in Romney’s favor, it’s apparently changed to this:

In the race to 270 electoral votes, Obama still leads in Pennsylvania (20 Electoral votes), Michigan (16 EV), Ohio (18 EV), WI (10 EV) and IA (6 EV). Most polling sites have Obama securing 201 electoral votes, winning these five battleground states, totaling 70 electoral votes, would give Obama the necessary electoral votes to win re-election.

So the new story is that Romney will win the popular vote, but Obama will win the electoral college. It’s almost as if the the media machine would sooner predict a blizzard of badgers falling from the sky than choke out the words “President Mitt Romney.”

As an aside, I was one of those annoying people calling for the end of the electoral college after the 2000 election and saying the outcome there left a big asterisk by the legitimacy of George W. Bush’s first term. This idea was roundly rejected by Republicans. I wonder how everyone will feel if this latest prediction does come true and Obama manages a similarly dubious achievement.

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