In spite of skewed sample, Romney trails Obama by only 3%, Closes gap with female voters

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-Life Mitt Romney, Pro-Abortion Barack Obama

I have learned from Ed Morrissey over at hotair.com to always, ALWAYS read any poll coming from the Washington Post with extreme care. So as soon as I read the Washington Post’s story this morning about the poll conducted for the Post and ABC News, I looked to see WHO was polled.

What do I mean? You can be a math dummy like me and still figure out that if you poll far more Democrats than recent elections would indicate will vote in 2012, you’re going to get a highly skewed result.

For example, if out of nine voters in recent elections , three were Democrats, three were Republicans, and three Independents, that is roughly the composition you would want of the people you survey: 3-3-3.

According to the Washington Post/ABC News poll, President Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney 49% to 46%. To get an accurate result, they should use a turnout model from either 2008 (a high point for Democrats) or 2010 (a great year for the GOP), or some compromise.

According to Morrissey in 2008 the split was 39% Democrat/32% Republican/29% Independent. In 2010 the numbers were 35% Democrat/35% Republican/30% Independent.  What is the breakout for the Post/ABC News poll?

“Today’s D/R/I is 32/22/38, which means this model would only be predictive for a turnout model where only 22% of voters are Republican.”

Just to clear that is 10 points lower than 2008 and 13 points lower than 2010! This is one poorly conducted poll.

There are three interesting results found in the Post story. First, Romney and Obama each received 47% when the sample of 1,004 adults was asked who would best handle the economy.  At the same time, however, 55% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.

Second, Obama’s job performance is still 49% disapproval to 47% approval. That is ominous, from his perspective.

Third, last month Obama enjoyed a 19-point advantage among women, which, when you think about it, could not possibly have been true, given Romney’s narrow lead among married women. Sure enough, according to Jon Cohen and Dan Balz,

“In the new survey, 51 percent of female voters support Obama and 44 percent Romney, almost precisely the average divide since April 2011.”

And the risk of stating the obvious, had the sample included a fairer percentage of Republicans, the margin would have been even smaller.

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