CNN poll of battleground states: Romney 51, Obama 43

A rare case in which a news outlet actually tries to undermine its own poll by pointing out problems in its methodology. Is that because it’s terrible for the Unicorn Prince or because, to be fair, it’s hard to draw any conclusions from numbers these vague?

I’m not putting any stock in it but let’s blog it anyway. After last week’s SCOTUS groin-punch, we need something to be happy about.

About a third of all Americans live in states that are not considered safe Republican or safe Democratic strongholds, including toss-ups states (like Florida and Ohio) as well as states that lean toward one presidential candidate but could ultimately wind up voting for his rival. In those 15 “battleground states,” the poll indicates that Romney currently has a 51%-43% advantage over the president among registered voters, if the election were held today.

“Note carefully that this does not mean that Romney will win each of those states by eight points, or that he will win all 15 of those states,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “That’s both good news and bad news for Romney. The good news: he has residual strength in states that the two campaigns are fighting over. The bad news: Romney is also spending resources defending states that should be part of the GOP coalition, rather than taking the battle to Obama’s home turf.”

The survey indicates that Romney clearly has a big advantage in some of those 15 states, but the data does not indicate which states he is currently winning or how big that advantage may actually be. Neither candidate needs to win all 15 of those states in order to win the general election, so the aggregate results from all 15 states do not forecast an Obama loss or a Romney victory.

Note to Holland: If Romney’s lead across swing states is approaching double digits then I’m pretty sure he’s not sweating over Obama’s “home turf,” especially since polls of registered voters tend to underestimate actual Republican strength on election day. So what’s driving the alleged big Romney wave? Must be a backlash to the Supreme Court ruling, no? No, actually: O still leads Romney by three overall (within the margin of error), same as he did last month. The only difference detected by CNN is a sudden spike in Democratic enthusiasm buoyed by their big Court win. The public’s short attention span will solve that problem in due time.

Gallup’s not seeing any “John Roberts bounce” for The One either. But:

The O-Care decision was announced between those two spikes at the far right of the graph so O’s recent surge obviously wasn’t due to the Court ruling. Maybe it was driven by a surge of Democratic and Latino enthusiasm after he announced his new DREAM policy? In that case, you’d expect to see his job approval rise too but there’s only been a slight bump lately and he’s actually underwater at the moment. Seems like his recent lead over Mitt might be more of an anti-Romney than a pro-Obama thing, although why that would be, I can’t imagine. Let’s chalk it up to statistical noise, hm? Even if it is his biggest lead in two months.

Exit question: How do you reconcile Romney’s eight-point swing state lead here with Obama’s eight-point swing state lead in NBC’s poll last week? Hint: Small sample sizes!

Trending on HotAir Video