Obama pollster mocks Romney campaign 'fantasy'
By MAGGIE HABERMAN |
9/25/12 5:10 PM EDT
In a blunt interview with Greg Sargent, President Obama's pollster Joel Benenson mocked the Mitt Romney campaign's contention that the race is within the margin of error in part because the modeling, as the Republican's team says, is skewed toward a 2008 model that won't be duplicated this time:
“The notion that this electorate isn’t going to be as diverse as it was is frankly a fantasy,” Benenson said.
“The percentage of African Americans has gone up in every presidential election since 1992, except in 2000, where the number went down one percent,” Benenson continued. “Latinos have gone up in every election since 1992. And 18-to-29-year-old voters have been at 17 percent or more in every election since 1992, except 2000."
“There are some historical trends that appear to be pretty irreversible,” Benenson said. “That reality may be uncomfortable for the Romney campaign, but this will be an electorate that has been as diverse as the previous four presidential elections.”
There has been a lot - and probably not enough - said about the proliferation of polls this cycle, and their reliability. Republicans doing private polls have generally said - privately - that Romney is behind in battleground states, but not as far back as some of the public polling.
Romney's campaign argues the Democratic samples are too heavy in the public surveys, and has pointed to national tracks like Gallup and Rasmussen to affirm its point that the race is being judged on an inaccurate metric.
Only one of them will be right - if Romney pollster Neil Newhouse is correct, then the race is much closer than has generally been reported. If Benenson is right, the electorate is predictable and 2008 was a newer normal, not an aberration.