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A Comparison of 2008 to 2012; or Chill Out Folks

Many seem to be freaking out because of the current polling numbers. There is no need to get het up about it. Sure I’m annoyed that Romney isn’t 15 points out in front as he would be in a sane world, but what exactly about the last five elections made you think this would not be close?

In 1992 the winner received 43% of the vote.  In 1996 he got 49%. In 2000 he got 48%. In 2004 he got less than 51%. In 2008 he got less than 53%. Look at those numbers and explain to me why you thought this would be easy?

Our nation is very closely divided. Get used to it for a while.

Now about those polling numbers. Yes, some polls are garbage and they are very easy to pick out.  Gallup and Rasmussen are not garbage (and neither is the RCP Average). That doesn’t mean they are without flaws but it does mean they are serious polls that try to get it right. There are a couple other polls I trust but to avoid argument I’ll stick with those two at the moment. In fact let’s look at Gallup specifically.

As of yesterday’s release, September 10th,  Gallup has Obama at 49% and Romney at 44%.

Now let’s jump back four years.

On September 10, 2008 Gallup had President McCain at 48% and Obama at 43%. For ten consecutive days following the GOP Convention in 2008, Gallup had President McCain ahead of Obama, including 6 straight days where the margin was 3 to 5 points, and two days where President McCain hit 49%.

Now can’t everyone see that these post-convention numbers mean virtually nothing? If Obama is still up five points in three weeks that’s another matter. If he’s up five in late October that will not be good. But early September polls aren’t reliable indicators of how November elections will  turn out.

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