Friday, June 22, 2012

Poll Madness: has Romney lost his momentum or did he never have any?

Strange results are abroad in the polling world.  Obama had a clear if small lead over Romney throughout April.  In May, suddenly Romney started catching up and it wasn't clear why.  Many polls started to show him leading and many leading Democrats went into full-bore panic mode.   Romney had consolidated his Republican victory, but that had been expected.

The economy had not suddenly dipped or improved, gas prices were high but falling, and business confidence a wildly mixed bag.  In short, there didn't seem to be a reason for Romney's sudden surge.

Over the last week, suddenly it's gone.  Some polls now show Romney as a large underdog, most notably the Bloomberg poll.

Conservatives immediately moved to question it, but some of their own polls suddenly showed an Obama shift.  Had Obama received some "juice" from coming out in favor of gay marriage and stopping the deportation of children? It seems unlikely, and conservatives credited a big boost in their campaign contributions from these actions, as has Obama.

It is most likely that Romney's "surge" was never real, that it was invented to prevent any last minute shenanigans among dissatisfied Republicans.  It had the additional benefit of demoralizing many pseudo-Democrats, most crazily Dick Morris, who claimed the race was a "Romney landslide" on May 9.

Morris of course, predicted something similar in 2008, and his continued presence in the media proves the contention that political consultants are the one tribe which has never in history weeded out the incompetents and fools.

I think neither is right. I don't think Romney gained any momentum in May, nor do I think Obama has any now, although enthusiasm is up in his followers.  I think the parade of polls represents an attempt to frame the race, and doesn't represent an uncertain or shifting public opinion at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment