Playing with Numbers
By David Glenn Cox
I only watched the first of the three Presidential debates and after the media declared Willard (Mitt) Romney the winner of the first debate, I didn’t see much point in watching any further. I had mistakenly thought this was an audience participation event, when it was merely a spectacle to be observed by us weed benders. The thundering media herd declares for us the winner and we are expected to sit there, over awed and clap when the applause sign lights up.
I don’t have a dog in this fight; I could easily do fifteen hundred words on the deficiencies of either candidate. In the words of George Wallace, “There ain’t a dimes worth of difference between them. “Two candidates, both, unknown quantities, Barack Obama has been in the public spotlight through two Presidential campaigns plus, four years as President and yet all we know of him is a public image.
We know that when push comes to shove Obama will side with Republicans over his own party. We know Obama will never, ever, ever side with the American people over Corporate America. We know American foreign policy under Barack Obama is no different than it was under Bush / Cheney. The American Imperialist Juggernaut continues unimpeded and will continue unimpeded regardless of who wins this stage show election.
The only thing we really know with any certainty about Willard (Mitt) Romney is that he is insanely rich. He was born insanely rich, attended all the best schools and he took his top drawer education and proceeded to use it to milk the American economy, like a cow. He is a leveraged buy out specialist, he buys up companies to loot them of their assets and once the process is complete, throws the husk and the workers away.
Personally, I thought Obama won the first debate, though Romney certainly looked Presidential enough with his professionally frosted side burns. But when put on the defensive Romney’s voice pitch began to rise, it was a clear sign of rising tension and a failure of debate 101. Despite this, the media claimed Romney won the first debate and then the media declares Obama won the second debate and then the third.
The media claimed Romney earned a huge bump in popularity because of his debate performance, really? While 67 million people watched the first debate, how many of them were undecided voters? Let’s say, for the sake of argument, 10% were undecided voters or 6.7 million voters. So let’s say, that every last one of those undecided viewers decided right then and there, “You know what Margaret, I think that Mitt Romney is on to something, I’m kicking Barack Obama to the curb and voting for Mitt Romney.” There are 236 million people of voting age in this country and almost half of them vote, so if half of those undecided voters turn up at the polls and vote for Willard (Mitt) Romney were looking at 3.4 million votes. Not bad, but certainly not a game changer in an election of 91 million votes.
Ten days ago, every national poll listed Barack Obama as way out in front in the contest. Even Fox News had Obama out in front and now… the contest is deadlocked despite Barack Obama being declared the winner of the last two debates. How can that be? How can a sitting President with adequate approval numbers lose his dominating lead in ten days to a candidate who basically calls 47 percent of the electorate unnecessary untermunchin.
It is a game called swing state, Ohio is the swing states of all swing states and is leaning toward Obama with a 6 percent undecided. How much is 6 % of the Ohio electorate, 83,000 votes.
Time – Obama 49-44 with 3% undecided
Rasmussen – Tied 48 – 48 with 6% undecided
Quinnipiac / CBS – Obama 50 -48 with 3% undecided
Fox – Obama 46 – 43 with 10% undecided
Total Number of registered voters in Ohio, 7,722,180
Combined number of voters polled in the four national polls above; 4,171
Four national polls ask less than one than one tenth of the voters in Erie county Ohio their preference and then proclaim this number as a valid indicator.
The next toss up state, is Florida, hmmm, Florida. What do we know about Florida, orange juice, beaches, Mickey Mouse and senior citizens, lots and lots of senior citizens. So, hypothetically, if a campaign were to talk about privatizing Social Security in Florida it would be suicidal, right?
Rasmussen – Romney 51- 46 with 2% undecided
Fox – Romney 48- 45 with 6% undecided
CNN – Romney 49- 48 with 2% undecided
Survey USA – Obama 47- 46 with 5% undecided
Total number of registered voters in Florida, 11,778,140
Number of voters identifying themselves as Democrats, 4,715,684
Number of voters identifying themselves as Republicans, 4,214,241
No party affiliation, 2,516,757
Combined number of Florida voters polled in the four national polls above, 3,246
So hypothetically, Obama should have a 500,000 vote party advantage. If we split the “no affiliation” category between the two candidates Obama still leads. There are 4.2 million seniors in Florida over 60 years of age. It comprises the states largest voting block, in a state which technically, at least, leans Democratic and the national polls have Romney in the lead over a sitting President by asking one third of one percent of likely Florida voters.
Out West, Colorado is also listed as a “swing state” most of the national polls show Romney with a slight lead. Some of the national polls used a few as 500 likely voters to determine that outcome, the outcome they (the media) wanted.
Colorado has just a few variables which don’t show up in telephone polls of 500 likely voters. First, since 2000, the state’s population has increased by 15% mainly in the urban areas of Denver and Boulder. Secondly, these numbers are younger and better educated, both poor indicators for Republican candidates.
Colorado’s Hispanic population surged by 41 percent since 2000 and Hispanics represent 21 % of the population in Colorado. This combined with the fact that Obama carried a vast majority of Hispanic voters in 2008 carrying the state by nine percentage points over John McCain. What swing state, is Willard (Mitt) Romney really that good of a candidate?
Iowa where the campaign began so long ago and yet is still to decide on a candidate. The state has 607,936 registered Republicans versus 595,423 registered Democrats. In 2008, Barack Obama carried the state with 54% of the vote, what could have changed? Iowa’s economy has fared better than most places in the United States, so why the change?
Rasmussen, Tied, 48- 48 with 2% undecided.
PPP – Romney, 48-49 with 4% undecided
NBC/WSJ/Marist – Obama, 51- 43 with 4% undecided
We Ask America – Obama, 49 – 46 with 4% undecided
Registered Iowa voters – 2,090,309
Total number of Iowa voters polled above- 4,005
Now it all gets very interesting when we look at these amazing number shifts which have closed a once lop sided race and turned it into a nail biter. Did the rescue helicopters crash in Iran; was Obama filmed while driving a tank? Was Willard (Mitt) Romney’s debate performance so magnificently strong, that overnight, millions upon millions of Americans just up and changed their minds?
“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.” – Mark Twain
Polling data from thirty days ago;
NBC/ WSJ, Obama 49 – 46 with 3.4% undecided
NPR, Obama 51 – 44 with 4% undecided
ABC/ Wash Post, Obama 49 – 47 with 4% undecided
Quinnipiac, Obama 49 – 45 with 6% undecided
Wash Times, Obama 50 – 41 with 7% undecided
Politico, Obama 49 – 47 with 5% undecided
FOX, Obama 48 – 43 with 4% undecided
Bloomberg, Obama 49 – 43 with 4% undecided
National Journal, Obama 50 – 43 with 3% undecided
Either a sitting President with no major gaffs in his campaign has suddenly become unpopular for no particular reason, what so ever as to prompt tens of millions of voters to change their minds about him in a scant thirty days. These millions are suddenly willing to do a complete 180 degree about face in their political preferences, swayed by the person, persona and politics of Willard (Mitt) Romney. Either it is so, or the numbers are jimmied. It is an impossibility outside of the domain of heaven.
“A statistician is a person who draws a mathematically precise line from an unwarranted assumption to a foregone conclusion.” – Unknown
“In earlier times, they had no statistics, and so they had to fall back on lies.” – Stephan Leacock