Working the Refs, Not Debate, is Responsible for Romney's "Bounce"

Last week, we talked a little bit about the Right's attempt to play the refs by complaining that pollsters were polling too many Democrats - where in fact, the numbers were justified by both the Democrats' registration advantage and last presidential election's voting patterns. So what did our national media and pollsters do? They quickly groveled at the feet of the loud screeching noise-makers, of course.

Today, for example, there is a Pew poll out showing Mitt Romney has taken a lead in national polling of likely voters, 49-45, a full 11-point swing since the same poll from two weeks ago. Did the debate make all the difference? Don't be silly. Here's what really happened: Pew polled fewer voters altogether, and, they acquiesced to the wingnut browbeating and entirely took away the Democratic registration advantage documented in actual voting in 2008, registration data, and well, their own previous polling. Here, in a nutshell, is what really happened:

The new skewing also suddenly gives conservatives a whopping 26-point advantage in this poll over liberals, compared to the last poll's 18-point conservative advantage.. the share of conservatives in the latest survey jumped by 5 points, from 39% to 44%, while the share of liberals dropped from 21% in the previous poll to 18% in this one. That's a total swing in favor of conservatives by 8 points. In 2008, the actual gap was 34-22 in favor of conservatives. Here's that data in graphic form:

So Pew basically swung their sample by 7 points in favor of Republicans and 8 points in favor of conservatives, and declared, "Romney’s Strong Debate Performance Erases Obama’s Lead." In fact, the wingnuts are bragging that their tactic of working the refs is working. Well, they are right about that one thing. When a respectable organization like Pew is playing to the tune of right wing propaganda and being played like fools, that indeed is a success of the propaganda machine.

I have no idea whether Pew's numbers are just an aberration in their sampling or deliberately designed to fit the GOP's howling narrative. But when it happens right after the howling crowd starts moaning, I have my suspicions. Of course, this is also in the interest of the national media. It helps them tell the story of Romney's "comeback," even if working the refs is primarily responsible for said "comeback." Goes pretty well together with their mendacity to declare the biggest liar the "winner" of the presidential debate.

But in a way, this does show us Democrats something useful. Having done this analysis, it tells us what we have always known: if more Republicans turn out, Romney wins; if more of us turn out, Obama wins. On election day, (which is every day from the day early voting or vote-by-mail begins in your state), remember that we are the refs. Don't boo, vote!

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