WaPo/ABC poll: The 14-point partisan gap

After a while, it gets to be a broken record, but we still have to ask: does anyone know how to poll out there?  Despite every indication that the partisan split among Americans has narrowed considerably since the last Presidential election, won by the Democrat by seven points while garnering considerable independent and Republican cross-over votes, the new Washington Post/ABC poll uses a sample in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by fourteen points.  Moreover, the WaPo/ABC poll has progressively widened that gap over the last four monthly polls:

  • 11/15/09: 35/21/39 (D/R/I)
  • 10/18/09: 33/20/42
  • 9/12/09: 32/21/43
  • 8/17/09: 35/25/34

Let’s have a reality check here.  In the last four months, which party would have lost ~20% of its representation in the polls and had them shift to the independent column?  With both Gallup and Rasmussen showing the Democrats losing the generic Congressional ballot for the first time in several years, it’s not the Republicans losing voters.  And yet the Post and ABC conduct their public-opinion polls based on samples that not only wildly oversample Democrats but show the opposite trend of partisan identification.

Even while increasing the sample to the point of farce, Barack Obama and Democratic policies lost ground in this poll:

  • Approval on health care: 47/49, was 48/48 in October
  • Approval on deficit: 42/53, was 45/51 in October
  • Approval on the economy: 51/47, was 50/48
  • Support ObamaCare: 48/49, was 45/48
  • Public option: Up 10 (53/43), was up 17 in October (57/40)

Maybe WaPo/ABC should use a 25-point gap the next time between Democrats and Republicans.  That way they can get the results they want on the issues.