Friday, September 21, 2012

The "Global Warming Consensus" polls

A number of you have left comments expressing frustration about Mitt Romney's seeming lack of fire in his campaign.  He's just not running a lot of ads, especially compared to Obama who has been running perhaps $100M in ad buys over the last 2 or 3 months.  The comments have mostly been along the lines of "light a fire under it, Mitt".

While I am not much of a Romney fan, I see this as an example of his competence.  You don't do well in business over the course of decades if you don't have plans and metrics, expected results and ways to assess effectiveness.  First up, Romney's target: independent voters have still not made up their minds:
Republicans are the partisan group most likely to be paying close attention to news about national politics, with the 48% who are doing so similar to the 50% in 2008 and up significantly from 38% in 2004. Independents and Democrats are less likely than Republicans to be paying close attention, with their levels of attention similar to 2008 and 2004.
Trend: Attention to National Political News -- by Party
Only a third of independents have been paying attention to the race.  Any ad that Romney might have run a month ago would have had no impact, because the voters he wants to reach weren't tuning in.  Six weeks from the election, this will change, and we can expect to see an ad blitz aimed squarely at independents.

I expect that a lot of conservatives will consider the ads to be weak beer.  I expect that Romney knows what he's doing here.  He's kept his powder dry and now that the target is at point blank range, he'll unload volley after aimed shot volley.

Second, the Obama campaign has been running ads, and pretty red-meat ads for the Democrats at that.  This is a very bad sign indeed for the Democrats.  An incumbent President running a very expensive ad campaign months before the election - and he still can't break 47% in the polls?  And it's much, much worse than that:
The polls, which show the two men tied and never far enough from each other to inspire confidence, do not capture the disgust people have with our President. Other polls do show it: how is that 47% of the country appears to support the President, but more than two-thirds think he is doing a pathetic job? Or that three-quarters think our country is headed for disaster? Or that almost two-thirds believe that Americans need to get off the dole?

The polls say the election will be close. But those that predict a Romney victory seem to have much better evidence. Whatever: the point is that everywhere we go, we are seeing open, blatant defiance of the Obama philosophy. People are tired, angry, and worn-down by this President, and while most Americans evidently think he’s probably not a bad guy personally, they realize he’s made things terribly, terribly worse.
The polls are the Global Warming Consensus of the political season - very weak evidence upholding the consensus is loudly touted and strong evidence opposing the consensus is suppressed.  The "peer reviewers" in the Journolist media are in full scramble, and will pump their boyfriend candidate up even if it means they have to change the definition of peer review.  But it won't help.  Gallup again, this time on the media itself:
Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

Trend since 1997: In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media -- such as newspapers, TV, and radio -- when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly -- a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?
And how do we know that the distrust is a result of bias towards the Democrats?  Because the Democrats (and only the Democrats) trust the media:
More broadly, Republicans continue to express the least trust in the media, while Democrats express the most. Independents' trust fell below the majority level in 2004 and has continued to steadily decline.

Trend: Trust in Mass Media, by Party
No hiding this decline.  And so after months of expensive advertising, Obama barely has his head above water.  Except he really doesn't, and Romney is going to start going straight after the swing vote.  The media will continue to howl, but as far as the independents less than a third trust them.  It will be the media strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.  Indeed, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Like a Kabuki play, the outcome of this election is scripted.  I simply don't see what can stop Romney.  The only question is whether the Republicans will pick up the Senate.


The Big Guy said...

Nice use of the graphics...
Really paints the picture of the issue will...

Specifically regarding the media,
As I see news stories and headlines in my news aggregator, I look at the source and read the articles based on the trust level of the source.
Anything from AP, CNN, HuffPo, WaPo, or their ilk, I ignore completely.
Fox gets a similar discounting since they are so far to the right that it is painful...

Six said...

You are on fire BP. Te polls will continue to skew D up until the last week or so before the election then those pollsters who derive their living from their accuracy will begin to show something closer to reality. The election results will be totally 'unexpected' of course.

Rev. Paul said...

As The Big Guy said, excellent use of graphics to illustrate your points.

Broken Andy said...

I have it from a source that has the phone numbers of people on/close to the campaign that Romney is conserving his money for the ground campaign. Expect his GOTV activity to be the biggest you've seen from the GOP ever. Which makes sense. Ads are a waste of time, especially because of the diffusion of eyeballs by the Internet.

Ian Argent said...

One interesting thing I've noticed on Facebook; the "bumper sticker" political images shared by Obama supporters are, in the main, insults and put-downs of both Romney&Ryan, or their supporters. The pro-romney camp tends to a more positive "this is what we will do" vibe, or attack the president's record, not person.