We are hearing a lot about political polls these days. The President is up or Mr. Romney is down! Or perhaps Mr. Romney is up and the President is down. The first Presidential Debate gave Mr. Romney a boost, but two days later the “Jobs report” showing unemployment dropping below 8% gave the advantage back to President Obama. There are multiple articles and republican pundits that are accusing the President of manipulating the polls and the employment numbers to enhance his chances of re-election. Some of these individuals are probably still convinced that President Obama is a Muslim who was born somewhere outside of the United States.
Political polls are nothing more than a statistical sample of a representative segment of the population. The assumption is that if one selects a random sample, the results can be broadly applied to the entire population.
President Obama is now leading Mr. Romney in the latest polls in Ohio; this being based upon the recent statistical samples that have been collected. This poll may not be accurate, and it can change as quickly as a revolving barber pole, and many people can’t help but think of polls in a similar fashion as Mark Twain did about lies when he popularized the saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, darned lies, and statistics.” (This quote has been slightly modified to retain the modicum of decorum expected from a “Family Friendly” Newspaper:)
However, if all of the polls consistently show a trend, there must be some real truth behind them. Mr. Romney’s campaign team has dismissed the polls and stated that they trusted their own poll numbers more than the National polls. They still feel that they will win Ohio (a must do to win the big prize), but one has to wonder how confident they really are when the down ticket candidates are saying they can “STILL” win, even if Mr. Romney loses!
President Obama is presently tracking over 50% in most of the National polls (based upon a sample from all geographic areas), but more important, after the release of nine battleground state polls by NBC/WSJ/Marist polls in the last few weeks (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.) President Obama is ahead of Mr. Romney in all but North Carolina, “with his biggest leads being 7 and 8 points (in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Iowa) and his smallest edge at 2 points (in Nevada).” Obama’s average percentage in these polls is 49.5% and Romney’s is 44%.
I suspect that Mr. Romney’s running mate, Mr. Ryan is showing very good judgment on one issue. You did know that he is also running for his old Congressional seat, in addition to running for Vice President?
On a positive note for Mr. Romney’s supporters, all of the polls are still showing Mr. Romney solidly winning Kentucky. However, the interesting thing is that President Obama is projected to gather more votes from Kentucky voters in 2012 than he did in 2008! Perhaps this will only be an increase of a few percentage points, but many of us will still welcome even this small token of enlightenment on the part of our fellow Kentuckians
If the polls are consistently bad for Mr. Romney, then the voters must be having some concerns about his leadership capabilities, or as my Grandmother Ezell would say, “If the baby smells stinky, then it must have a dirty diaper!”