“In the last three months, I have been reading the polls, and I am aware that it has been made to look like a neck-and-neck race. But when I am in a position to peer under the hood of the polls that show President Obama ahead, I have consistently discovered that the poll operates under a preposterous assumption – that the voting public this coming Tuesday will be almost as Democratic or even more Democratic than the voting public was on the first Tuesday in November in 2008. The results that these pollsters get are baked in the cake. They are virtually certain consequences of the assumptions on which their polling is based. Everyone knows that, if the partisan predilections of the electorate in 2012 closely resembles those in 2008, the results will be pretty much the same.
“The assumptions made by these pollster are, in fact, absurd. They ignore the turnout record for the two parties in 2010 – a year more recent than 2008 – and they ignore the fact that the issues in this Presidential election are those that animated the elector in 2010 – Obamacare, the deficit, etc. – not those that animated it in 2008. Moreover, both Gallup and Rasmussen, the two pollsters that carefully track party identification over time, report that party identification for those likely to vote in 2012 is virtually identical to the party identification of those who actually voted two years ago and radically different from what party identification was in 2008.
“To be precise, in 2008, Gallup found that 39% of the electorate self-identified as Democrats and that 29% self-identified as Republicans. Today, the respective numbers are 35% and 36%. When one takes leaners into account the split in 2008 was 54-42, and today it is 46-49. Sympathy for the Democrats has dropped by 8% and sympathy for the Republicans has jumped by 7%. That is a 15% shift.
“To this we can add any number of indicators – to begin with, the fact that the Obama campaign has in effect abandoned Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia; the fact that Romney is clearly competitive in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota – states that Republicans have not won in many years; the fact that the Obama campaign is thrashing about with talk of Romnesia and revenge; the fact that Romney has been endorsed by Newsday, The New York Daily News, the Des Moines Register, the Las Vegas Review Journal, and a host of other papers that, like these, have almost never in recent years endorsed a Republican Presidential nominee.” (source)