Via my good friend Jim Vicevich, let’s see if we can hear the dog whistle in this clip from ABC’s election coverage. George Stephanopoulos runs through the generic ballot numbers in the final WaPo/ABC poll and sees a nine-point flip from registered to likely voters, for a final 4-point Republican lead. Diane Sawyer then suggests how easily that, er, some folks could change the elections:
Jim says the message is loud and clear: “Calling all unions! Calling all unions!” But the problem according to Gallup’s more reliable numbers isn’t really a lack of turnout among Democrats, it’s the massive size of the expected Republican and independent turnout that will make the difference.
Let’s talk about that WaPo/ABC poll, too. The registered-voter sample used in this poll had a 10-point skew to the Democrats, 37/27/32. Their likely voter model has a D+3 advantage, 34/31/30, a model that comes closer to overall party affiliation than any sort of likely-voter model in this election. As a result, this poll almost certainly will badly underestimate the Republican turnout.
Even with the WaPo/ABC thumb on the scales, though, Obama’s approval rating in their likely-voter model is 46/52, with a 42/55 on the economy. Likely voters give a +13 to the desirability of a Republican takeover of Congress, 44/31. If ABC thinks a few busloads of voters will change the fundamental direction of the midterms, then they’re engaging in fantasy and desperation instead of analysis.