Rove: Obama’s Poll Strength Exaggerated
Thursday, October 4, 2012 11:47 AM
By: Dan Weil
The significance of President Barack Obama’s lead in recent polls has been vastly exaggerated, says ace Republican strategist Karl Rove.
And he wrote this in The Wall Street Journal before Mitt Romney’s commanding performance in Wednesday night’s debate, which almost certainly will boost his standing in the polls.
In the past 30 days, Obama registered 50 percent support or higher in just 20 of 91 national polls, Rove says. Obama averaged 47.9 percent, compared to 45.5 percent Romney.
Compare this to the 40 national polls taken in the same period in 2004. President George W. Bush matched or topped the magic 50 percent threshold in 18 of them. Bush averaged 49 percent support, compared to 43.8 percent for Democrat John Kerry. Bush won the election, of course.
Still an Oct. 4, 2004 New York Times story called the race "a dead heat." Obviously Bush’s poll position then was far superior to Obama’s now. “So why was the 2004 race ‘a dead heat,’ while many commentators today say Mr. Obama is the clear favorite?” Rove asks rhetorically.
“The reality is that 2012 is a horse race and will remain so. An incumbent below 50 percent is in grave danger. On Election Day, he'll usually receive less than his final poll number, because his detractors are more likely to turn out, and undecideds are more resistant to voting for him.”