There are normally three signs you know a campaign metrics memo is purely spin.
1. Anecdotes: “We have seen groups as big as 100 voters going to vote in Athens, Ohio.” Only 604 democrats have voted in person in the entire county and no more than 40 in a single precinct (that would be Athens 3-5, for those scoring at home).
(Also on POLITICO: Romney’s road to victory in Ohio)
2. Unverifiable Data: “Precincts that Obama won in 2008 are voting early at a higher rate”: This is unverifiable and misleading because there is no such thing as an “Obama precinct.” Every ten years, the entire country rebalances its voting districts based on a constitutionally mandated census. In 2010, this process redrew the lines of reportable voting areas that were used in 2008. So this year, we have entirely new precincts, thereby making it impossible to validate their claim.
3. Cherry-picking random sub-poll data: “Time poll shows the President up 60-30” among early voters. That sub-sample was asked of 145 people and was one of many of similar ilk (with a huge variation in results). Their central data argument is that 43 more people told Time’s pollster over a two-day window they supported Obama. If that is their best claim to a lead in Ohio, it is a troubling picture for the president.