It really must be panic time for the media. Time magazine is out with a new poll of Ohio, showing Obama with a 5-point lead over Romney, 49-44. That’s about where polling showed the race a couple weeks ago, with the consensus now that the race is much closer. Still, with Obama still stuck under 50%, the poll isn’t exactly horrible news for the Romney campaign. But, if you dig deeper, you start to see some problems. First off, the poll shows Romney winning Independents by 15 points.

Wait, what? Romney is crushing Obama among independents 53-38, yet is behind by 5 points? Regular readers will immediately be able to pinpoint the problem. Yes, Time dramatically oversamples Democrats, crafting together a poll that is D+9. This implies a bigger Democrat turnout than the wave years of 2006 and 2008. Your mileage may vary a bit, but that isn’t going to happen.

But the Time poll goes one-step further than just the regular partisan oversampling. Basically, they split up the poll into two mini-samples. They separate those who plan to vote on election day and those who have already cast an early ballot.

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