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September 26, 2012

Jay Cost: Yes, Most Polls (The Ones The Media Prefers) Are Giving Obama a Phantom 3-4 Point Edge

He sees Obama with an edge, but a tiny one, around 1 point.

I'm kind of making up these numbers because Cost never really adds them up to provide a net-net. But when you tally up the various Bad Assumptions the media is making, it looks like a net Obama false advantage of 3-4 points (or more).

You should read the whole thing, but I'll summarize Cost's points, just to have something to write.

1. Obama is only even with Romney with Independents, and many Independents remain undecided. The only way, then, Obama can have a healthy lead is if he is getting much more out of his base than Romney is out of his own, a historically dubious proposition.

He does not mention the old rule -- which actually isn't a very strong rule -- that remaining undecideds will break for the challenger. It should be noted that this rule really isn't one, which is why I don't think he mentions it.

That said: In this election, if the constant media fawning over Obama, and his overexposure, haven't convinced you to support him, I just don't think you're going to wind up voting for him.

2. Currently the polls show the Democratic base being more unified than the Republican base -- that is, there are more Republican defectors, away from Romney, than Democratic defectors, away from Obama.

Cost doesn't even question this based on common sense (that is, given that Obama is presiding over a Depression at least partly of his making). He just looks at historical party unity numbers-- in previous elections, the Republicans were more solid for the Republican candidate that the Democrats were for their own. Ergo, he finds the current situation indicated by polls -- that Obama is more popular with Democrats than Romney is with Republicans -- either wrong as of the moment or possibly correct at the moment but unlikely to persist.

Obama's Problems Multiply as GOP Frets Over Obama. I fret myself. I feel like I'm on tenterhooks. I want Romney to break big so I can relax.

I think a lot of us have this bubbling frustration and anxiety, and we wind up blaming Romney for not just winning this already.

That said, Obama's got some problems. But the Palace Guard Media is keeping them Top Secret.

As far as Libya is concerned, the White House story that the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens was entirely the result of anger over an anti-Muslim video has completely fallen apart. While the administration now concedes the attack was an act of terrorism, the public still does not know exactly what happened in Benghazi that night, nor does it know what security precautions, if any, the State Department took to protect U.S. interests there.

For the moment at least, the administration is stonewalling any further inquiries. State Department officials say they won't discuss the matter because it is under FBI investigation. But on Monday morning, CBS reported that the FBI "isn't even in Benghazi yet. They haven't secured that site, which is how journalists can wander through."


One might think the situation, which could well break into a full-scale scandal, might be consuming the political press. It's not. For example, one could watch all of NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday and never hear a word about Libya, with the exception of a brief critique of Romney's reaction to the attack.

Add to this the fact that median household income has fallen again, by another 1.1%.

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posted by Ace at 03:31 PM

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