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CNN Poll Showing Obama up by 9 points–a “fantasy”?

by | Apr 18, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Yesterday we ran a piece based on the results of three national polls that matched up pro-life presumptive Republican Party nominee Mitt Romney against pro-abortion incumbent Barack Obama. It wasn’t just that CNN’s poll (unlike Gallup’s and Rasmussen Reports’) had Obama ahead, it was the margin: a sizable nine points–52% to 43%.

Writing on the hotair.com site, “Allahpundit” and Ed Morrissey looked closer at the internals of the CNN/ORC International poll. They offer several possible explanations for the wide discrepancy (Gallup had Romney up by 2 points and Rasmussen had the former governor of Massachusetts up by 3 points):

·         Gallup had Romney up by 6 among Independents; CNN found Obama up by 5. That accounts for much of the difference but not all.

·         Fewer Republicans in the CNN poll (86%) said they would vote for Romney than did in Gallup (91%). In theory, possible, although unlikely. But, as Allahpundit pointed out, are we to believe that 14% of Tea Party supporters are leaning toward voting for Obama?!

·         Likewise, it is possible that Romney trails Obama among women by 16 points in CNN’s poll. But winning among men by 3 points? That simply defies belief (or, as Allahpundit put it, “C’mon”).

·         Morrissey picks up on this and, borrowing from a reader who “did some math,” finds that there some basic addition problems. If this be true, the level of support for the two men is actually very close.

·         Finally, there is issue of what Morrissey says was a dramatic weighting of the results. But on what basis, he asks.

“Pollsters weigh results in likely-voter models; in fact, that’s a vital part of the likely-voter modeling process.  I’m not aware of the need to weight gen[eral]-pop[ulation] polls unless the demos in the survey are wildly deficient, and since CNN didn’t disclose those, we don’t know — but it hardly imbues these results with confidence.”

He concludes

“Again, I’m not aware of a need to weight results in general-population polls, and certainly not to the extent seen here, nor did CNN disclose that they did weight the results, especially in the general-population results. Without the rest of the demographic data included in this survey and the weighting methodology, this poll should be treated as utter fantasy.”

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Categories: Polling