Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Final Poll

I have heard every excuse for why current polling that shows President Obama maintaining a small national lead among likely voters and a more significant edge in electoral votes is inaccurate, misleading, and invalid.  Unfortunately for the excuse marketers, the poll-to-poll variations have been remarkably stable over the past few months; the pool of undecided voters that could change the election is historically small; and the Fox News polls seem to reinforce the prevailing story that Obama is ahead.  It is true that the polls will tighten before election day if only because the press cannot stand a foregone conclusion and subsequent ‘depressed’ (if you are a Romney supporter) viewership numbers on the Big Night.  We cannot predict the future with certainty, but the polls seem pretty consistent right now.

This urge to blame polling bias will not go away just because the election ends.  That will only be the beginning:   

November 7, 2012 (or as conservatives will come to call the day after the 2012 election without a hint of racial animus, Black Wednesday)

Obama Reelected

Special to MSRP

According to election returns, President Barack Obama has been reelected as President of the United States, defeating his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, by over 100 Electoral College votes.  The Republican establishment immediately began to raise doubts about the accuracy of the data used to make the electoral claim, arguing that the election polls are biased against severe conservatives.  They promised to soldier on in the face of these results. 
Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves with a stinging attack on the final vote tally today.  “Look at who is reporting the results – MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post.  These are all bastions of liberalism fully invested in protecting the President.  The liberal media bias is an indisputable fact, and these election “results” merely reinforce the fact.  The election result reports are biased against Mitt Romney and conservative causes.  The votes are based on false assumptions so I encourage listeners to ignore the polls.”

Other conservative thinkers argued that in several swing states where the polling station results did not match their internal delusions, the result was due to Democrats being oversampled at the ballot box.

“How can you have a valid election result when the underlying criteria for measurement count more Democrats than Republicans?”  said Donald Trump, speaking at his $5,000 per plate Birth Certificate Reform symposium in Palms Springs, California.  “This is huge.  This election debacle is the poster child for biased vote counting.”  

Questions about the validity of the methodology involved in tabulating the election results soared across Twitter and the blogosphere.  GOP agitators across the South vowed to look into claims that young voters, women and Latinos were also oversampled, skewing the final results.  They claim that if they can prove that the votes of the young, the infirm, minorities and females were in fact counted and weighted equally with the votes of Republicans, they can call the validity of the final vote poll into question.

‘All it takes is the implant of the seed of doubt about the results, and we’ll get that reset we’ve been waiting for.  We’ll win this election yet, even if it takes 4 more years to do it!” thundered Romney surrogate Rick Santorum from the pulpit of his local tax-exempt house of worship.  “Ours is a merciful God.” 

Other political leaders on the Right floated the long debunked idea that the Electoral College is filled with liberal academicians who historically support liberal causes and therefore produce invalid surveys of voter preferences.  According to this theory, any poll designed to count Electoral College votes will be biased.  As Sarah Palin facebooked to her loyal followers, “You can’t expect the professorial class at the Electoral College with their tweed jackets and their fancy books to prefer an agenda of freedom.  If this trend continues, I really will be able to see Russia from my house.”

Fox News paid contributor and book salesman Newt Gingrich saw another ploy at work in the announced election results.  He pondered aloud this morning on Fox and Friends that releasing election results now might be another way of depressing Republican turnout at pre-planned victory celebrations. 

Gretchen Carlson nodded in agreement.

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