Polls over sample democrats to make Obama look stronger

Jay Cost:
Yesterday, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll seemed to confirm the meme that Barack Obama is pummeling Mitt Romney among women, helping the former open up a 7-point lead in the general election horse race. 
What to make of this? 
Well, for starters, the poll has an inexplicably large Democratic advantage – the party breakdown in the poll is 34 percent Democratic, 23 percent Republican, and 34 percent independent. As a point of historical comparison, the party spread in four of the last five elections since 2002 has basically been an even split between the two sides. In 2008, a “perfect storm” of bad news for the GOP, the party ID advantage was “only” +7. So, a Democratic advantage of +11 is an unjustifiable number, at least in terms of what the electorate is thinking. 
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey did a solid job of dressing down the pollsters for such an absurd Democratic skew, and I encourage you to read his response carefully. I’ll just add that I am always amused when pollsters find an advantage for Democratic candidates that is less than their Democratic oversample. In this case, ABC News/WaPo finds Obama’s job approval at +5 (50 percent approve to 45 percent disapprove), but that is not nearly so impressive in a D+11 sample! 
Polls like this are useful, however, in a kind of “Nixon goes to China” sense. Put another way, if Democrats look weak in polls that are so ridiculously pro-Democratic, you know they are in trouble. 
And so it goes with President Obama in this poll. He enjoyed some nice headlines from it because of his nominal lead over Mitt Romney, but look underneath the hood and you will see bad news for the commander in chief. 
First, his overall job approval is at 50 percent, but how does he fare on the issues that people are worried about right now? Those numbers are not so rosy.
Notice the strongly disapprove number on gas prices, and keep in mind that only about a quarter of this poll is Republican. The implication is that the president must be doing terribly with independent voters on this issue.  His numbers on the economy are somewhat better, but -10 overall is still a rotten place to be if the goal is to win reelection. Again, he must be doing very badly with independent voters to have such a bad number in such a pro-Democratic sample. 
Historically, presidents have usually won reelection by convincing the country that good times are back, and here to stay. Unfortunately for Obama, there is nowhere near that sentiment in America right now.
There is much more.

Even with this heavily democrat skew, Obama is doing terrible on the economy, energy and handling of the deficit.  These are all issues that Romney will be able to exploit this fall.   Pollsters who are trying to cook the books for Obama are going to have to scramble back to reality at some point this year and select a more representative sample of likely voters.  When they do, it will be clear how much trouble Obama is in.  Republican voters should not be discouraged by these partisan polls.


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