Last week, I wrote a column noting that of all the “major” polls, only GOP-leaning Rasmussen was reporting Romney tied or in the lead in the race for the White House—and declared this a good thing, as it probably led Romney to not fire people or shift the focus of his campaign. It also fed the laughable GOP meme that all of the other polls were “skewed” in favoring the Dems. This also fed delusions of grandeur.
Whoops. Now even Rasmussen is really going against Mitt, as today’s daily tracking poll, just up, shows Obama with a clear 3 percent edge—and reaching the magical 50 percent mark for first time. Rasmussen gave the president a 2 percent lead yesterday, so it’s not a one-day blip. Now I’m looking forward to new talk of “skewed” polls today.
Actually, the argument on the right has already shifted. Yesterday we heard Paul Ryan, on Fox News—cue the laugh track—charge that “media bias” against Romney was clear and massive. In other words, if the polls are right—which, they’d claim, they aren’t—it’s purely because of the bias. Again: Let them fool themselves in this way as the race slips away.
David Carr of The New York Times devotes his column today to a response, including this: “Think about it. What is the No. 1 newspaper in America by circulation? Why, that would be The Wall Street Journal, a bastion of conservative values on its editorial pages and hardly a suspect when it comes to lefty news coverage. (Though it’s worth pointing out that the paper has published some very tough coverage of Mr. Romney.)
“What about radio? Three of the top five radio broadcasters — Mr. Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the recently departed Michael Savage — have outdrawn NPR’s morning and evening programs by a wide margin. In cable television, Fox News continues to pummel the competition.” And he doesn’t even mention Drudge.
The other claim we now hear: Even if the media are not biased, they have screwed Romney by focusing on the “horse race,” instead of the issues and their candidate’s clear superiority. Of course, a horse race focus has only been around for, oh, decades. Also, as noted: It’s hard to ignore the fact that all polls now show Obama in the lead, from a narrow 2 percent to 7 percent. And more important, polls in swing states have gone even more strongly in his direction, with almost shocking bulges right now in Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
If anything, the media is setting up Romney for a comeback, which the pundits will then ballyhoo. In fact, they are desperate to do just that.
Bonus: See Nate Silver’s analysis of past 10 prez races and polling—which reveals no real poll “bias.”