The headline from Friday’s New Sachs/Mason-Dixon (S/M-D) Poll held some bad news for Barack Obama in what it said, but the worse news was in what it didn’t say. Oh S/M-D used the obligatory “happy face” language like “tough hard-fought presidential race”, but the data just doesn’t support that claim.
The report says Obama is losing 47/44, which for an incumbent with consistently under 50% approval ratings would be troublesome enough, but the rest of the numbers offer little comfort to Obama.
S/M-D says Obama is up 47/41 among women and 49/42 with voters under 50 years of age. Regardless of what these numbers look like, they are harbingers of bad things to come Obama’s way in November. In 2010 the total voter male/female split was 48/52, but since women have always voted at a higher rate then men in presidential elections, fairness requires using 2008 as the base number.
CNN exit polls show the female/male split among all voters was 53/47 in 2008. So a 6 point Obama lead among women is more than wiped out by the 53/40 lead Mitt Romney holds among men.
Voting enthusiasm rates for those under 50 average nine points less than those over 50, and Republicans of all ages are 8 points more likely to vote this year as per a recent Gallup poll. If things remain as they are, these numbers will spell landslide loss for Obama.
Whom to believe?
The internals of the S/M-D show a breakdown by Party identification that does not match the one that Rasmussen uses. Rasmussen a firm the has surveyed Party self identification for years reports this breakdown: 35% Republican 33% Democrat and 32% Independent. The S/M-D poll uses: Republican 32% Democrat 37% and Independent 30%. Basing its results on 4% more Democrats and 3% fewer Republicans and still showing Obama down three points to real trouble for Obama.
Another poll conducted during part of the same period was done by Dick Morris. His poll was six times larger has a .05% margin of error (S/M-D’s margin is 3%). Morris found Obama down 51/42 with 9 % undecided.
Undecided voters eventually break almost totally in favor of the challenger. If just half of them do Obama loses in a landslide.
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