Oct 09 2012
Update: Andrew Sullivan’s expression of shock tells me the current poll reversal has to be more than just a good/poor debate performance:
Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That’s terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion.
No, we have never seen a debate do this much damage. Maybe what we are actually seeing is the debate triggering the flood gates to open and this silent, resistant voting bloc finally engaging. Some kind of floodgate opened, that is for sure.
And one other note: this pattern is universal. This shift to Romney is happening at the national and state level. The shift is so universal and consistent it has to be something in the electorate and how they are sampled (or allow themselves to be sampled). Like I said, if one monolithic bloc avoids sampling, then the polls will be seriously out of whack. – end update
In two previous posts (here and here) I pondered the theory that the 2010 insurgent voting – primarily coming from a anti-government position and fed up with the lack of progress after years of voting out Dems and voting in the GOP – was actively resisting being polled. Since the 2010 wave of Tea Party/Libertarian voting that swept Dems out of elected office at all levels of government, there has been no change in direction in terms of government spending and failure. Each opportunity to change course ended with the usual empty promises for a better, future, fiscal behavior (see empty chairs).
Myself and many others basically gave up on government solutions – left and right. It became obvious that the only way to slay the bloated beast of runaway government waste, fraud and abuse was to keep voting in new Libertarian faces until critical mass was achieved. The reality is you can send the signals to the libs all day long and they won’t listen. So you vote them out and keep cycling GOP candidates until you cleanse the other side of any remnants of activist government (which includes imposing social agendas, harsh immigration actions, etc). No more government nags and nannies – period.
This meant tuning out much of the political babble that passes for deep thought these days. I have been struggling for months to post on current events, especially politics related topics, since what we need is less babble and more action. Real action. And the only opportunity for real action is coming up here in November. And like others, I am ready to engage seriously again.
So are we seeing one of the most masterful debates of all time, from a candidate who received a hesitant reception from his own party due to the fact he has been an activist government type before (see Romneycare and the fact he was/is a climate alarmist)? Did this ho-hum candidate catch fire over one debate and turn the tides? Are the seas receding because of one presidential debate that really did not provide a lot of details and not nearly enough small-government action?
I seriously doubt it. Romney’s debate was good and Obama was awful, but Reagan and Bush both survived horrible first debates. No, something else is ALSO in play here. And this analysis in the Washington Post begins to touch on what it might really be:
But the newly released data also undercut a persistent criticism of election polls: that there is a “true” measure of partisan identification — and its malicious corollary, that pollsters are manipulating reality.
So who moved in Romney’s direction?
Well, not political independents, for one. There was no meaningful change in their support for Obama or Romney in either poll.
All of the change in both polls came from the composition of each sample. In pre-debate interviews by Gallup, self-identified Democrats outnumbered Republicans by five percentage points, according to Gallup’s Jeff Jones. By contrast, in the three days following the debate, the balance shifted in a GOP direction, with 34 percent of registered voters identifying as Republicans (two points up from pre-debate), 33 percent as Democrats (four points down).
For Pew, a nine-point Democratic advantage in mid-September is now plus one percentage point for the GOP. (The turnabout in “likely voters” was even more dramatic, shifting from Democrats up 10 to Republicans up five.)
So we are seeing +10% swing to the GOP in party ID in one month in Pew, and +6% in Gallup. Did all these people switch parties in three weeks? Over one debate?
Not likely. As I suspected, the anti-government, Tea Party, Libertarian insurgent voter of 2010 has decided to start coming out of their self imposed exile. They are starting to respond to pollster calls. They are beginning to let the walls down and prepare for this next election cycle. Their minds have been made up for week, months or years. They are forced to side with the GOP because that is the only party pushing Libertarian proposals. There has been no need for debate or discussion. If you want smaller, less intrusive and financial constrained government Obama and the Dems are not the answer.
As this monolithic and large voting bloc start to engage and be heard, I expect to keep seeing the polls shift. These people were always out there – just like the funky U-3 unemployment numbers cannot mask the 27 million people out of work, underemployed or who just gave up and are not counted. These people are still fed up, still hurting, and still ready to vote the reality that exists on the street. Mythical poll numbers and unemployment rates are simply PR stunts to pretend there is no problems out there. To buy time. To gather more money and hope for a miracle….
A truly reaction from a group who don’t even believe in a God.
The answer is coming to DC and it is clear – again