Certain people would have you believe that the Obama bounce was like a Saturn V rocket, propelling the embattled president well beyond the straosphere and into orbit. In reality, as with most bounces, it was more akin to a trampoline. President Obama's convention bounce is over in most polls and fading in the rest. In an economy this bad, some people may wonder how he is staying afloat at all.
The answer lies within two things: stacked polls, and a coordinated media determined to make Mitt Romney look like the devil.
Let us tackle the latter first, since it is much less complicated. Most people know that unless you are talking about Fox News or talk radio, you're going to get somewhat of a liberal slant with your news. CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC and NPR are all famous for not just presenting their audiences with liberal commentators, but anchors as well.
The morning after the assault on the Egyptian embassy and the Libyan consulate which led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney held a press conference. Before it begun, several reporters were caught on a hot mic, coordinating the questions that they would ask. It has to be understood what the plan was for these reporters. The plan was not to try and worm an answer out of Romney. The intent was to set the tone for the 24 hours news cycle. Sadly, it worked. Not only did the rest of the media pile on the tone set that Romney jumped the gun, some cowardly Republicans afraid of looking like they're actually batting for their own team did as well.
I guess they forgot that Obama did something quite similar in 2008 in an attempt to hurt John McCain and continue to tie him to Bush.
Now for the second issue, which is stacking the polls. Depending on which organization is doing the polling, people can see a wide variety of things emerge on the same day. Gallup for instance, uses registered voters. Rasmussen uses likely voters, which has historically been more accurate, even if only within a point or two.
Many recent polls, especially those that came out after the Democrat National Convention, were amazingly skewered in President Obama's favor. The most prominent example of this was a CNN/ORC poll released on September 10th, which showed a staggering bounce for President Obama. Polls like this are typically divided up into Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
This poll showed Obama up ahead of Romney by a deafening 52% to 46%. Was is because the DNC was that good? No. It was because the poll oversampled Democrats, and undersampled Independents. The reason this is important is because according to many polls, including both Rasmussen and the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, Romney has a 11% lead with independents. Undersampling independents means that Romney will come across as weaker than he actually is. The questionable CNN/ORC survey that came out September 10th? Independents favor Romney 54% to 40%.
The aforementioned CNN/ORC poll polled 441 registered Democrats, 397 registered Republicans in an sample size of 822 registered voters. That leaves no more than a handful of independents. between 35 and 40 at the most. This is a gross mischarictarization of a huge part of the electorate which right now is favoring Governor Romney.
This disaster of a poll breaks down like this: 50.4% Democrats, 45.4% Republicans and 4.2% independents. Independents were under-sampled by nearly 25%, while Democrats were oversampled by 12%. An accurate reflection of likely Democrat, Republican and Independent voters would realign the poll to show Romney leading Obama, 53% to 45%.
Rasmussen has Romney up ahead of Obama, 48 to 45 percentage points. Gallup shows Romney gaining a point, with Obama ahead 50 to 44 percentage points. It could be a true reflection of the difference between polls that show registered and likely voters. It could also be because of the fact that the federal government just filed suit against Gallup, coincidentally after an unfavorable poll. Naww. That would be crazy.
Normally they tell you to take polls this far out ahead of the election with a grain of salt. In the case of this CNN/ORC, you should take it with a huge shot of penicillin, just to be safe. Even if every poll were to reflect an accurate sampling without any stacking, Romney would probably not be ahead in them all. One thing for certian however, is that he is not doing nearly as badly as the mainstream media would have you believe.