According to the post-convention polls, Barack “the bump” Obama and Mitt Romney are now “tied.” The internals of one of the more comical polls, the CNN/ORC International poll of registered and likely voters released Tuesday, claimed Obama was ahead by 52/46. The survey grossly over- polled Democrats and shut Independents out almost completely, speaking to just five dozen or so out of about 850 responding. A closer look reveals two very important pieces of information. Among the few Independent voters the survey did gather data from, Romney holds a significant 54/40 lead. This becomes still more important in light of Obama’s 52/44 edge in 2008 that was the underpinning of the 54% overall support he rode to victory. As leftist and loony as the CNN/ORC was, its 16 point spread lines up perfectly with the 53/38 lead James Carville and Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps found two weeks ago. The most important measurement of voter sentiment is the enthusiasm they have for actually showing up at the polls to vote. The CNN/ORC poll found that Republicans who are “very enthusiastic” to vote provide a 6 point (62/56) edge for Romney.
A Romney spokesman put this edge into perspective saying, “This Republican enthusiasm advantage has manifested itself in an unprecedented and historic grassroots effort that will have a significant impact on turnout in battleground states on Election Day”
Of course, the best news for Romney was whispered out last Sunday during the middle of the Labor Day weekend when Rasmussen reported that Republican voter registration is now at the highest level in recorded history – 37.6%, and Democrat voter registration at 33.3% is now less than a point above its historic low. The importance of this 4.3 point registration gap cannot be overstated.
For perspective, it must be juxtaposed to the 1.3 point Republican edge going into the 2010 election when the GOP won 63 House races and re-took control of Congress. Given his 6 point enthusiasm gap and the generic 4.3 point spread in Party registration, is it really worth paying attention to the polls that are showing Obama ahead or even close?
Photo Credit : Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)