The Romney campaign and other Republicans say polls showing President Obama with a significant lead over their candidate are inaccurate.One optimistic Republican even believes the polls show that Mitt Romney is leading President Obama:
They argue many mainstream polls skew in Obama’s favor because of sample sizes that base 2012 turnout projections on 2008, when Democrats — and Hispanics, blacks and young voters in particular — turned out in record numbers.
Frustration that polls are skewed in favor of Obama has escalated among some on the right in recent weeks. One website, www.unskewedpolls.com, recently began re-weighting the mainstream polls to closer track the demographic assumptions of conservative polling outlet Rasmussen Reports. The re-weighted polls all show Romney ahead in the race, with leads of between 3 and 11 percentage points.Well, I guess if you start with the assumption that Mitt Romney is winning, then yes, all the polls are biased. But that's craziness. Still, even though polls are the most accurate and scientific measurement of where the race currently stands, it's no great surprise that some people refuse to believe them—the side that's losing is always going to come up with new and creative ways of living in denial. There's nothing shocking about the fact that some guy made a spreadsheet to readjust polls to match his predetermined conclusion—it would have been shocking if that hadn't happened.
But something about the GOP rejection of reality in 2012 feels a bit more desperate than usual. Republicans aren't just whining about the polls, they seem to believe there is a systematic conspiracy afoot to use biased polls to swing the campaign. For example:
John McLaughlin, a Republican pollster and consultant to GOP candidates, told the conservative National Review last week that Democrats are lobbying media pollsters "to weight their surveys to emulate the 2008 Democrat-heavy models."That's just nuts. If the media wanted to engage in a coordinated attack on Mitt Romney, the last way it would do it would be to hire a bunch of third party polling firms to manufacture pro-Obama survey results. And Fox News, whose own polling has shown Obama ahead, certainly would not be in on it.
"The intended effect is to suppress Republican turnout through media polling bias," McLaughlin said.
The fact is that many conservatives won't accept President Obama's reelection even after it has happened. Hell, they didn't accept his election the first time around, so of course they think polling firms are players in a pro-Obama conspiracy. And when Obama wins, it won't be evidence that they were wrong: It'll be more evidence that they were right—and that the pro-Obama polling conspiracy was successful.