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Understanding where we are at by looking at five sets of numbers

by | Apr 11, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Mitt Romney

We will be talking here about numbers, so please bear with me because they are important. They tell us what is going on—or seems to be going on—with respect to issues and candidacies we care about as pro-lifers. There are five sets of numbers that are the foundation.

#1. From Rasmussen Reports, the latest on the “intensity factor.”  President Obama has a negative “Presidential Approval Index” of -17. That means  while 24% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President, 41% who strongly Disapprove.

#2. A Rasmussen poll from last week found that  “54% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 41% who Strongly Favor it.  Forty percent (40%) are at least somewhat opposed to repeal, with 25% who are Strongly Opposed.”  ObamaCare, as you will recall, is the President’s “signature’ domestic accomplishment.

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

#3. In a hypothetical matchup between Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney—now seemingly inevitable with today’s departure of former Senator Rick Santorum—Rasmussen found they are deadlocked at 45%.

#4. But a poll released by the Washington Post today found Obama beating Romney 51% to 43%. No need to quibble with some of the particulars, there is a massive, systemic  flaw that has characterized the Post’s polling  for months.

Imagine if you polled 75% Republicans and 25% Democrats, would you be surprised if the Republican candidate came out ahead? Well, it’s not that bad (in reverse), but the Post continually polls many more Democrats than Republicans. For example, in today’s poll 34% percent of those polled self-identified as Democrats, 23% self-identified as Republicans, and 34% self-identified as Independents. For those of you, like me, who are math-challenged, that’s an 11 point advantage for Democrats.

Conn Carroll wrote about this earlier today, asking how this stacks up the turnouts since 2004. He writes,

“In 2004, the electorate was 37 percent Democrat, 37 percent Republican, and 26 percent Independent. Bush beat Kerry 51 percent to 48 percent.

“In 2006, the electorate was 38 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican, and 26 percent Independent. House Democrats won 52 percent of the national vote compared to 44 percent for Republicans.

In 2008, the electorate was 39 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, and 29 percent Independent. Obama beat McCain by seven points 53 percent to 46 percent.

“In 2010, the electorate was 35 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican, and 29 percent Independent. House Republicans won 51 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for Democrats.

“So the highest turnout advantage the Democrats have had in the past eight years was seven points in 2008, four points lower than the advantage The Post gave Democrats in their latest poll.”

Or, as Ed Morrissey put it, the Post’s sample presents “a completely unrepresentative, absurd model for the 2012 turnout.”

#5. To borrow from Morrissey, if the sample were more representative (i.e., not an 11 point advantage for Democrats), Obama’s approval rating of 50% (according to the Post) would drop to 46%. That’s pretty much where it has been for a long, long time.

This is not an instance of looking for silver linings. It is to look at the reality beneath the spin. As we look ahead to the election—6 ½ months away—we need to recall the basics.

President Obama’s popularity is below 50%; ObamaCare is not only unpopular, the public believes it ought to be repealed and will be repealed; Obama has cruised unopposed while Republicans have beaten one another up as they sought the nomination; the economy is, at best, soft; and the intensity factor will be with opponents of the President come next November.

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Categories: Politics