Yes, you read the headline right, and no, you haven't suddenly forgotten everything you know about math. A poll conducted by Langer Research Associates for Esquire and Yahoo! News showed Pres. Obama leads Mitt Romney by 10 points among men, 12 points among women, but only four points overall. If you've been reading this site for a while, you're probably already asking if there was some difference in the the questions or the sample or something. Smart ol' you! Yes, the overall four point lead is among likely voters, but the leads among men and women are among registered voters. That's a seven point swing based not on what voters think, but upon who is more likely to vote.
In other words, if all registered voters turned out, election news would be about the size of Obama's impending landslide. Romney would be hanging on in hopes that outside events or a massive unforced error by Obama changes the election. OK, given Romney's massive unforced error this week that might have imploded his campaign, Romney might have already thought that was his situation. However, that would definitely be his situation if all the registered voters planned to turnout. Assuming the voter preferences go on down the ballot, it might be unrealistic for the Republicans to think they can hold either house of Congress, and a lot of governors and state legislators would be in trouble too.
Look at the demographic breakdown, and the disappearance of the gender gap in Obama's favor is only one conventional wisdom defying part.
Look at this age breakdown:
Broken down by regions, Obama trails by not a lot in the South and leads everywhere else. He leads among all income groups except over $100,000. He leads among all educational levels. How is this election not over? How is the Republican Party not reduced to a few red splotches in a sea of blue? Because of bunch of people registered to vote don't show up. That's not even looking at eligible voters who aren't registered. My understanding is that people can be convinced to register will probably vote.
It may be good news that there is this big load of votes to be gotten, but the bad news is GOTV (get out the vote) is more important for Democrats than Republicans. Republicans do it too, but if they don't do it well, they have a lot more margin for error. Lower turnout is likely to help them anyway, and especially in the era of crank billionaires and Citizens United, they have far more money to spend on advertizing and will for the foreseeable future.
That's why it's vital that we register new voters, identify the Democrats and swing voters, and get them to the polls. If you think that means the "ground game" campaign will be starting soon, you're wrong. It's been going already. The Obama campaign was recruiting volunteers to help with grassroots organizing a year ago, even though he had no primary opponent. Phone banks and doorknocks might seem old fashioned, a relic of the pre-social media era, but they work. They have to be done right, but they work. And you need to work, if you want to get the unlikely voters to actually produce a result that looks like the country. Today being Saturday, there is a doorknock near you. I obviously don't know where you are, but I do know there's one near you, or if I'm wrong, you have a bone to pick with your local party or your candidates. There's almost surely some campaign running a phone bank whichever day you're reading this. Actually there surely is, because regardless of where you live or whose district you're in, you're in Obama's district and the Obama campaign has a virtual phonebank on their web site.
Some states have election day registration, and they tend to have higher turnout. We have it in Minnesota, and it's considered the main reason we always lead in voter turnout (even just giving access to the polls to people who moved after the pre-registration deadline adds a lot of voters). Anyone wanting to go both get out the vote among eligible voters and go on offense against voter restrictions should push for election day registration.
So we're out of excuses. We're not out of voters, but we are out of excuses.