- The party affiliations in many of them are assuming a big Democratic wave year like 2008 or even bigger (which is highly doubtful since we don't have a sitting two term Republican President who everyone was sick of nor do we have an incompetent GOP candidate). In the Public Policy Polling poll of North Carolina, they are showing 12% more Democrats than Republicans today compared to 11% more Democrats than Republicans in 2008 exit polls. Given this heavily Democratic weighting you would assume that Obama would be killing Romney in the poll. Nope, he is only leading by 3%, within its margin of error, which I take as a sign that North Carolina will not be close at all and will go for Romney. Now take a look at some of the CBS/NY Times/ Quinnipiac polls which show that Obama leads in Florida and Ohio. In Florida, they show a 9% advantage for Democrats, despite the fact that in 2008 it was only 3% and in 2010 it was 0%. No wonder they are showing Obama winning by 6%. Ohio is a similar story, they show an 8% advantage for Democrats in line with 2008 though 2010 the party affiliation ran even. Again, it shows Obama winning by 6%. Many of these polls aren't worth the excel spreadsheets they were manufactured on.
- The Wisconsin exit polls were a great reminder how wrong polls can be. Remember that they showed Walker tied with his opponent while in actuality he won by 7 whole points. These polls were conducted the exact same day as the election and interviewed people as they were leaving the voting booth. This means that you wouldn't get any skew due to people saying that they are likely voters when instead they are playing their PS3 on election day and yet it was still off by a whole 7 points! If such polls can be wrong, what is the point of relying on a poll done months ahead of time?
- Look at history. In 1980, the polls were showing a very close race between Reagan and Carter right up until the last minute. Reagan won it by 10% with 489 electoral votes!
- Romney has so far been heavily outspent by Obama and his cronies who have been going through money like a homeless person who just found a wad in his unwashed pants. By my calculations Obama has spent a whopping 56.3% more than Romney through the end of July ($483 million vs. $309 million). When you consider much of Romney's expenses came in his heated battle to defeat Republican primary opponents while Obama could just focus on bashing Republicans, the spending is even more in Obama's favor. And despite all of this spending the race is still close. Going forward thought the advantage seems to be Romney's. The last couple of months he has raised about $207m while Obama has raised $146 million. If this rate is maintained and given that Romney has more cash on hand right now ($186m versus something around $144m for Obama) Romney is likely to outspend Obama by about 36.6% heading into the final stretch when it really counts ($496m versus $363m for Obama).
- Romney is probably going to get more of a boost coming out of the convention than Obama will. Since Romney's VP is probably going to be a high quality Republican, like a Paul Ryan, and all Obama is likely to do is parade around the gaffe prone Joe Biden, it just seems likely that Romney is going to have a better August than Obama will, setting the tone for the final months when the undecideds make their decisions.
- The economy isn't getting any better and given the way things are now, it is signaling an Obama loss. You can look at the charts here and here to see that based on various indicators and historical vote-shares, Obama is simply not going to pull this one out. It's the economy, stupid!
Now I'm not saying that Romney is guaranteed a victory, I think there are still a couple of things that Obama can do to win, though he will probably only do these if he is desperate:
1. Replace Biden with Hillary. This would do two things. First, it would take the wind out of the sales of Romney's pick. What do you think the media would rather cover, another white guy or a white guy being dumped for Hillary Clinton? Instead of talking about the Ryan plan or whatever you are going to see tons of interviews of Biden ("how do you feel being brushed aside?" "Did you know beforehand?"), women ("how does it feel to have a woman as a potential VP?") and even Bill Clinton ("so will you be the second Gentleman?" to which he will respond "we all know I'm no gentleman"). Second, it will reinvigorate one of Obama's core constituencies, women and make sure they come to the ballot box.
2. Help Israel attack Iran. Again this would do a couple of things. First, one of the arguments against Obama is that he doesn't stand by our allies and he hates Israel. Providing such strong evidence against both those arguments right before the election will go a long way to getting more Jews and Independents to vote for him. Heck, militarily defending Israel alone probably gets him Florida. Second, Americans tend to rally to the flag when there is a conflict, at least initially. Its only if the conflict is long and drawn out that Americans sour. If Carter was able to get a 20 point boost in the polls from the Iranians taking Americans hostage, Obama should get at least that. Of course there is always a chance that it becomes a larger regional war and makes oil prices completely skyrocket (especially if Iran goes after the Saudi oil fields) but there probably won't be enough time between the attack (likely in October, if it happens at all) and election day to erode the bump Obama will receive. Sure Obama's instincts are probably to keep Israel from going forward but I think his desire to win will trump those.