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This evening, I watched Paul Gigot interview GOP pollster Whit Ayres. His polling company, Resurgent Republic, shows Mitt Romney winning independents by a 51%-39% margin. Ayres then said “If anyone says they know who’s going to win, they’re either lying or they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

I’d love to hear Mr. Ayres tell Michael Barone that Michael Barone doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Duane Patterson of the Hugh Hewitt radio show wrote this post about the latest Marist Poll that captures what I was thinking after the Ayres interview:

So in order to believe the Marist poll, that Obama is up over the margin of error, you have to believe that the intensity level for Obama by party ID is higher now than it was in 2008. You have to believe that the swing from 2008 to 2010, where party ID went from D+8 to R+1, resulting in the election of a Republican governor, a Republican Senator, and control of the state house, all that has not only vanished, but recoiled even further in Obama’s direction.

You have to believe that the crowd of 80,000 Obama drew in 2008 in Cleveland the closing days of the campaign demonstrates less energy and passion for their candidate than the 4,000 did this morning. You have to believe that the 30,000 people last night at the Romney/Ryan rally shows less enthusiasm for their candidate than the 4,200 did in 2008 for John McCain.

You have to believe that Michael Barone, a man who you can introduce yourself to and tell him where you’re from, and he’ll tell you who won your Congressional district in 1966 from memory, is wrong when he reads that Cuyahoga County, long a Democratic stronghold in the Buckeye State, is way off in party registration. He’s also wrong when reports for early voting tend to favor Mitt Romney, and favor him big.

You also have to believe that Ohio Catholics and values voters don’t care about the HHS regulations. You also have to believe that Ohio, an energy state, doesn’t care about energy production.

Thanks, Duane, for that great explanation. God knows there aren’t enough conservatives who consistently display that high level of communication ability.

Day after day, polls have consistently shown 2 things: Mitt Romney leading with independents and a terrific pro-GOP enthusiasm gap. Now I’m supposed to believe that Mitt’s lead is either nonexistent or is exceptionally and historically thin and that the enthusiasm gap isn’t affecting polling results.

With all due respect to Mr. Ayres, that’s a bunch of malarkey. The crowds show it. Michael Barone recognizes it. Tuesday night will prove it.

Something’s gotta give. It’s impossible for Mitt Romney to be locked in a Florida 2000-like battle when he’s getting 90% of Republican voters, President Obama is getting 90% of Democratic voters and Mitt’s trouncing President Obama with independents by 12 points.

There’s only one way for President Obama to win with that type of situation, That’s if he’s getting better turnout of Democrats than he got in 2008. All of those indicators show that that isn’t happening.

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