No, Obama isn’t killing Romney in Wisconsin

Time to dispense with another fairy tale liberals have been telling each other to cushion the blow of their historic defeat in the Wisconsin recall election!  Sorry, guys, but it’s long past time you joined the rest of us in the real world.  That’s what the 2012 elections are about, when you get right down to it.

Many on the Left, including media talking heads and virtually the entire MSNBC lineup, have been trumpeting exit poll data that showed Barack Obama comfortably ahead of Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, 51 to 45 percent.

It’s puzzling that any rational person would decide this particular exit poll factoid was valid, when the rest of the data was immediately exposed as pure garbage.  The exit polls showed a down-to-the-wire close race for the gubernatorial recall, when in fact Republican Governor Scott Walker defeated his Democrat opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by a wide margin.  The race was called 45 minutes after the polls closed… even as news anchors were still reading the exit polls and confidently predicting a long night lay ahead, because the contest was too close to call.

Even if the exit poll data on presidential preference were accurate, a six-point lead for Barack Obama would hardly be cause for celebration among his supporters, since he won Wisconsin by 14 points in 2008.

But the news is even worse for Democrats.  Michael Barone, writing at the American Enterprise Institute, decided to adjust the exit poll numbers to fall more in line with the actual results of the Wisconsin recall election, further noting that exit polls tend to skew about 4 percent too much towards the Democrats.  (It has been speculated this is because Republican voters are less likely to hang around after voting and chat with pollsters.  Barone notes with a chuckle that particularly large exit poll biases toward the Democrats have been found in precincts where the pollsters were young female grad students.)

With these adjustments made, Barone, who is widely respected on both sides of the aisle for his analytical skills, found the true state of the Wisconsin presidential race is more like a dead heat: 48 percent Obama, 48 percent Romney.  He concludes, “Wisconsin is very much in play in November.”

And that’s before the full effects of Walker’s victory have been felt, including the reduced morale of Democrat voters, and the anger Wisconsin Democrats feel toward President Obama for doing so very little to aid their cause.  DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz famously predicted Wisconsin would be a “dry run” for the turnout operations of both parties in the presidential election.  How can anyone look clearly upon the results of that dry run and feel increased confidence about Obama’s chances of carrying the state?


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