Glee and Panic and Invisible Polls

Something really odd going on this morning about an alleged new poll that allegedly shows Romney roaring ahead of President Obama among independent voters. National Review posted this four days ago:

According to a new poll conducted by Democracy Corps (the James Carville/Stan Greenberg-founded firm), Mitt Romney is leading by 16 points among independents, 54 percent to Barack Obama’s 38 percent. Twenty-six percent of independents think the country is going in the right direction; 68 percent think it is going on the wrong track. Forty percent of independents approve of Obama, while 56 percent disapprove.

The overall poll isn’t a terrific win for Romney — he’s at 47 percent to Obama’s 49 percent — but if he’s opened up a gap anywhere near this large among independent voters, that’s certainly a hopeful trend for him.

This morning, in a delayed reaction, a number of rightie blogs are reporting this information and predicting a growing tidal wave of support for Romney that will sweep him into the White House, and Dems are panicked.

Now, these numbers about independents might be true, but I can’t confirm them. Some of the rightie blogs provide links that allegedly go to the source data, but if you follow the links you either get to a “page not found” or “404” page or to the home page of Carville and Greenburg’s Democracy Corp, with a note near the bottom saying that the page you are looking for can’t be found, but maybe you’d like to look at something else?

I haven’t been able to find any national polls that break out independent voters separately, just state polls, and those are all over the map. However, Nate Silver’s trend lines for November 6 show Obama pulling further ahead of Romney.

The Democracy Corps site does have an article on results of a poll, dated four days ago, but it doesn’t say anything about independents.

What might have happened:

  • There really was such a poll, but Carville & Greenberg yanked it off the Web.
  • A hacker planted fake polling data on the Democracy Corps page and then alerted National Review.
  • The Right is hallucinating.

All three of the above bulleted items are equally plausible, IMO. If someone does find the source data somewhere, do let me know. I’d like to see it.

Elsewhere — there are several commentaries out today on the theme that Democrats are really, really worried, and possibly panicked, about their convention, for one reason or another. One such story is that they are worried that Bill Clinton will end up sandbagging the President to help his wife win in 2016. Steve M. takes that one apart pretty deftly. And, seriously, it doesn’t even make sense. President Obama isn’t running in 2016; how would it help Hillary Clinton politically to undermine him now? That’s just weird.

10 thoughts on “Glee and Panic and Invisible Polls

  1. “The Big Dawg” will give a terrific speech, setting-up Obama’s own barnburner.

    This feud story is just idiotic. It’s the political MSM trying to drum-up still more coverage, since there’s only a little over two months to go before everyone takes a break, and the new Presidential campaigns start – the day after the Innauguration.

    At the DNC, I’m sure that more than one person will remind Americans of how Democrats aren’t afraid to have THEIR last President up on stage at their Convention, unlike the Republicans, and “The Man With No Name” – no, wait, that’s Clint Eastwood! – sorry, I meant, “The President With No Name.” Yeah. You know – HIM!!!

    As for polls, I don’t look at them until the week after Labor Day. There are still a lot of people on vacation that week, and no one really gets into the elections until their favorite football team kicks-off its season.
    And it looks like tomorrow night, I’ll be watching Clinton, and flipping to the Giants v. Dallas game, during the appluase lines.

  2. DCOR.NAT.POLT.082812.PDF from Google Cache

    Hmmm…. I hope that link comes through OK. It appears to me that the document did exist at that site at one time, since Google Cache has a copy of it, but it has since been either moved, deleted, or renamed. I wonder why? Looking in the data, it looks to me like the “independents” were (a) a fairly small group of people, and (b) seemed to swing more right than left.


    • Ian — thanks. I took a look at the data but can’t tell that it is showing movement. If Romney were gaining support among independents that might be significant, but if the numbers are static I am not seeing a Romney landslide in those poll results.

  3. “President Obama isn’t running in 2016; how would it help Hillary Clinton politically to undermine him now?”

    If the economy continues to sputter, Hillary would have a better chance against Romney than she would as a successor to Obama, don’t you think? I wouldn’t put anything past Bubba, though I too don’t think he’s up to anything that nefarious.

    • If the economy continues to sputter, Hillary would have a better chance against Romney than she would as a successor to Obama, don’t you think?

      If Mrs. Clinton really is thinking of running for the presidency again — and I’m skeptical — she has at least as good a chance of winning after a successful Obama second term than after a bad Romney first term, IMO. There are indicators that the economy really is picking up, and I think if Obama is re-elected and the Affordable Care Act is allowed to go into effect in 2014, Dems will be looking pretty good to the voting pubic in 2016. I honestly don’t believe the Clintons put their personal ambitions ahead of the good of the nation. And again, I would be surprised if Hillary Clinton runs for President again. She’ll be 70 in 2018, remember. She’s having a good run as Secretary of State. She has a shot at retiring on a high note, and I betting that’s what she’ll do.

  4. My recollection is that HRC said she has no intention of running for President – ever.
    Once was enough.

  5. I’m with Gulag. Big Dog will give a terrific speech, that will really help set the tone for the convention. Both Clintons did a great job unifying around Obama in 2008, despite the fierce primary fight. Their loyalty to the Democratic party, their ability to put smaller things behind them, is one of the things I admire about them.

    Whether the poll is right or not, I see the independents as being the most fickle group (but maybe I’m wrong), and a bounce of some kind is to be expected. They could easily go the other way in a few weeks. It is like wingnuts to make a big deal out of noise (they are utterly incapable of seeing small things in their proper perspective).

    I’m not as sanguine as you about the economy, going forward. Consider that Obama has no doubt done everything possible to gin things up for his re-election – most presidents do. Six months or a year from now is a more sober, neutral time to assess economic prospects going forward.

    I’d love to see Hillary run again in 2016, but I suspect she’ll do the sensible thing and stay out. I’d love it even more if we had a great lineup of younger blood going forward (so we could truly retire the Clintons) – we already know who the Republican likelies are, this far in advance – and it scares me that we really don’t.

  6. I’m resting in the knowledge that Barack Obama will be reelected. I enjoy that comfort only because I recognize the Repug’s attempt to sow the seeds of doubt.

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