The IBD/TIPP poll isn’t the only source of this conclusion. Not by far.
Add in another round of magic polls from Quinnipiac (paid for by the New York Times) and Marist (paid for by the Wall Street Journal) –they are magic because the folks who run them cannot explain their methodology or answer basic questions about their sample and turnout projections– and even more bad news arrives for President Obama, even those these two polls are among the least credible of this cycle, heading to the land of Zogby with every fresh batch of numbers. The pollsters at Q and M aren’t bad people trying to manipulate the electorate, they are just unwilling to admit what Commentary Magazine’s John Podhoretz pointed out on my radio show earlier this week –that so much has changed when it comes to cell v. landline, that so few people are willing to participate and among those who are are those who answer incompletely or falsely– taken all togther there is just a mess of numbers in which no serious person can place much certainty as to a particular result.
(The campaigns, presumably, spend whatever they need to spend to find out what they need to find out, but one of the key bits of data we need to know to judge public polls is the budget for the effort from the sponsoring organizations. If news organizations want the public to believe their polls, they ought to tell us how much money is going into the process, data that will allow us to compare the cost-per-poll, which will be very useful, though of course not dispositive, in evaluating the trustworthiness of an exercise that is increasingly like phrenology and not statistics. Think about the price of new cars. Do they tell you anything? Of course they do and so would the price of the polling data.)
If you missed it, be sure to read Jay Cost’s take down of Gallup in today’s Weekly Standard, the key conclusion of which is that “Gallup seemed to have tweaked its methodology with just weeks to go until Election Day to reflect the criticism that has come from the left.” Like many other organizations and individual journalists, Gallup is sacrificing its reputation in the service of the fading president. An astonishing choice but one it made. Perhaps Gallup is “too big to fail,” but this is the sort of move that injures a brand in profound and lasting ways. Gallup threw in with the left at a key moment when the left needed it. That won’t be forgotten.
The numbers from everywhere are simply losing their ability to persuade anyone of anything in particular, except direction, and that direction is very good for Mitt Romney and very bad for Barack Obama. Yesterday’s deeply disturbing revelations about the Benghazi massacre will accelerate the flight from the president, and the very lame (and very transpaprent) attempt by Chicago to get abortion to serve as a page turner has failed as thoroughly as did Big Bird.
Jen Rubin asks this morning whether the Libyan disaster is President Obama’s Waterloo, a very apt analogy that will escape many readers who won’t recall that Napoleon had been defeated once when he got back into the fight and was finished off a second time at that battle. The president was badly defeated last week, and he’s trying to get back on to the field, but Benghazi has become an enormous obstacle as it is as potentially serious a cover-up as Watergate in its official lies and far more serious in that the failing that is attempting to be concealed was terribly lethal. In addition to Rubin, Townhall’s Guy Benson is covering the unfolding scandal in detail, and eventually some enterprising MSMer will actually decide there is a big reputation to be made here (and serious journalism to be done) and claw out the facts of who knew what when. In the interim the obvious melt-down of credibility on the Hill and in the White House press room is adding to the Romney momentum as a desire for competence reaches deeper and deepr into the electorate that has to wonder whether the same “leadership” that implemented the Benghazi “security plan” is implementing policy throughout the world and at home on matters economic.
Mitt Romney exudes competence and composure as well as a deep commitment to ethics that no one –zero– associate with Chicago politics. The hysteria on the left — a “new low” according to the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henniger–about the ongoing Obama collapse is in part a consequence of their knowledge that the stories that will emerge post-Obama-in-the-Oval-Office will be devastating as to the conduct of the past four years. There is much to hide, and not just about Benghazi. Thus the left’s hysteria will grow, and among the “journalists” who participated in the charade of “covering” the president for the past four years, expect even more obvious displays of loyalty to the collapsing Administration. In for a dime, in for a diollar, and many of the “journalists” are already in for much, much more than a dime.
We will see that frenzied loyalty with tonight’s debate. If Joe Biden stays standing he will be proclaimed a conquering hero, but the audience will be huge and will again bypass the gatekeepers on their sets. I’ll do a 90 minute program after the debate concludes with the regular line-up of analysts. Admittedly they aren’t as Jersey-Shoreish as MSNBC, but they will cover the real consequences of the debate between the Veep and Congressman Ryan. Here’s the key, though: The debate can only add to the president’s woes, not reverse them. They aren’t reversable absent a huge stumble by Mitt Romney, the sort of stumble he has never, ever committed in a long and distnguished career of pressure-filled moments.