Media Polls: The Newest Negative Campaign Ad

Over the years, I’ve generally had little patience when partisans make the “polls are wrong” argument. I’ve usually found it to be the last refuge of campaigns which were clearly struggling. Sure, individual polls can be wrong, and some can occasionally produce a crazy outlier, but a collective average of polling produces a roughly accurate snapshot of the state of a race. This year, however, is different. The overwhelming majority of media polling this election employ such absurd assumptions about turnout this November that they not only misrepresent the presidential race, they are actively distorting it. I also believe it is intentional.

In 2008, the electorate that elected Barack Obama was 39% Democrat, 32% GOP and 29% Independent. This is what we call a D+7 electorate. Obama defeated McCain by 7 points, the same margin. In 2004, the electorate was 37% Democrat, 37% Republican, and 26% Independent, in other words D/R +0. Bush defeated John Kerry by 3 points nationally.

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