The real poll numbers

The media is trying to create a sense of momentum and inevitability about the Obama candidacy. One benighted Newsweek reporter even speculated about a possible Democratic landslide.

On Friday, I saw the real numbers. These state-by-state polls, taken by an organization I trust (after 40 years of polling), show the real story. The tally is based on more than 600 likely-voter interviews in each swing state within the past eight days. 

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The trend line is distinctly pro-Romney. Of the 13 states studied, he improved or Obama slipped in nine, while the reverse happened in only four. To read the media, one would think that Romney had a terrible month. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

Romney is currently leading in every state McCain carried plus: Indiana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina and Colorado. If he carries these states, he’ll have 228 electoral votes of the 270 he needs to win. 

To win the election, Romney would then have to carry Florida, where he trails by 2 points, and either Virginia (behind by 2) or Ohio, where he’s down by only 1. 

If he carries all three of these states and also wins all the others where Obama is now at 50 percent or less — Iowa, New Mexico, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Jersey — he will get 351 electoral votes, a landslide about equal to Obama’s 363-vote tally in 2008.

The strong probability is that Romney does, in fact, carry Florida, Ohio and Virginia and a share of the other states where Obama is below 50 percent of the vote.

So don’t believe the garbage being put out by the media. The attempt to portray Romney as not catching on and as dropping in the polls is ludicrous. It is, at best, the product of incompetent polling and, at worst, the result of deliberate media bias. But Romney is winning and expanding his lead each week. That’s the real story.

On the Senate front, the same organization’s polls also paint a very different story from that which is being told in the media. Republican candidates are ahead in their pursuit of three open Democratic Senate seats: Nebraska and Wisconsin (by wide margins) and North Dakota (a closer race). In Montana, Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg has shown a 3-point lead over Democratic Sen. Jon Tester for some time now. And, in Missouri, the Republicans show a 5- to10-point lead over Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. 

So if the Republicans win every seat where they now lead, they would pick up five currently Democratic seats.

Add a sixth in Florida, where Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is mired way down at 42 percent of the vote, with Republican Rep. Connie Mack hot on his heels with 40 percent. When an incumbent senator is at 42 percent of the vote, he’s likely not coming back.

Republican George Allen is tied at 47-47 with Democrat Tim Kaine in Virginia.

And then three other Democratic seats are within Republican grasp: Ohio, Michigan and New Mexico. In each race, the Democrat has a narrow lead but is under 50 percent of the vote. Right behind them are Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where the Democrat is also under 50.

Republicans will, of course, lose in Maine, where Snowe is retiring, and they might lose their seat in Massachusetts. But Republican Sen. Dean Heller seems well ahead in Nevada.

So, if Republicans win the seats where they now lead and lose Maine and Massachusetts, they will pick up three — control would hinge on the vice president. But Florida also seems likely to go Republican, giving the GOP a 51-49 majority. And Virginia, Michigan, Ohio and New Mexico are likely not far behind.

Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Clinton, is the author of Outrage, Fleeced, 
Catastrophe and 2010: Take Back America — A Battle Plan. To get all of his and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by e-mail or to order a signed copy of their latest book, Revolt!: How 
To Defeat Obama and Repeal His 
Socialist Programs — A Patriot’s 
Guide, go to dickmorris.com.