Saturday, February 6, 2016

Poll Watchers' Delight

New polls on Obama v. Romney give both sides reasons to hope; and give every pundit more to talk about.

Poll Watchers' Delight


(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, see them new polls on the presidential race?

BE: You mean the Reuters poll showing Romney closing or Gallup's daily tracking poll showing Romney leading or the CNN poll showing Obama leading?

JB: You are paying attention!

BE: And the nice thing is there's something in these polls for everybody.

JB: Right again, chief. Let's take Reuters. Shows Romney within four points of Obama. The president's lead is only 47-43. But importantly, it also shows Romney doing slightly better than Obama on the number one issue of jobs and the economy: Romney 45, Obama 43, within the poll's margin of error.

BE: A statistical dead heat.

JB: Bingo. And you know why, right?

BE: Cause Romney's now alone on the GOP side, Democratic operative Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney never worked a day in her life and the GSA and Secret Service are partying in Vegas and Colombia.

JB: Well, I don't know about that last thing, but, yeah, not a good couple of days for the O-man.

BE: And Gallup daily tracking shows Mitt up 49-47 and, more importantly, leading among independent voters 45-39.

JB: You know daily tracking goes up and down all the time, right?

BE: Yeah. Maybe it's time for the Dems to revisit Mitt's dog on the roof.

JB: Except there's a CNN poll showing Obama up 52-43 on the strength of general likeability and appeal to women.

BE: And leading by five points among independent voters and by 16 points among women.

JB: How to explain such varying results in polls by major organizations all taken at about the same time?

BE: Easy. With my boy Rick gone from the race, all these pollsters have under-the-table contracts to feed the 24-hour cable news chatter with stuff for the heads to talk about.

JB: Brilliant.

BE: And even though polls are but a sense of the moment in a political atmosphere of extreme volatility...

JB: You, me and everybody else keeps talking about them.

BE: Yep. And, hey, it's been a delight.



Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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