It’s important to not accept a poll’s horserace numbers as Gospel fact. This poll is fatally flawed but it’s quite fixable. Here’s the horserace number:
Romney/Ryan, leaners: 49%
Obama/Biden, leaners: 49%
If people just read the horserace number, they’d think this race was a tie. They’d be wrong. This CNN poll has a D/R/I index of 41/30/29. In 2008, a year that was a tidal wave election, Democrats represented 39% of the electorate while Republicans represented 32% of the electorate. That means this poll vastly oversampled Democrats. Gallup recently did a poll of who would vote in this year’s election. Here’s what it said:
Independents 38%, Democrats 32%, Republicans 30%.
According to the CNN poll’s internals, Gov. Romney is getting 99% of the Republicans’ vote, 59% of the independents’ vote and 5% of the Democrats’ votes. Now let’s plug those numbers into my votes per hundred method. If Romney is getting 99% of the Republicans’ votes and Republicans represent 30% of all likely voters, that means he’ll get 29.7 votes per hundred from Republicans. If Mitt gets 59% of independents’ votes and they represent 38 voters per 100, that means Mitt would get 22.42 votes per hundred from independents. If Mitt gets 5% of the Democrats’ votes and they represent 32 voters per 100, that means he’ll get an additional 1.6 votes for a grand total of 53.72 votes per 100 for Mitt.
I don’t believe, however, that Mitt’s getting 99% of the Republicans’ votes. I don’t buy that President Obama is getting 95% of the Democrats’ vote. I think Mitt’s getting 85-90% of the Republicans’ votes. Likewise, I think President Obama is getting 85-90% of the Democrats’ votes. That changes the numbers to Mitt getting 25.5 votes per 100 of Republicans’ votes and 4.8 votes per 100 from Democrats. The independents’ number would stay the same. That means Mitt would get 52.72 votes per 100.
Far from being tied, this poll actually shows Mitt with a dominant 52.7%-47.3% lead. I’m betting that’s a ‘tie’ Mitt Romney would embrace tomorrow night.