Our friends on the left (and in the legacy media) are making much of a spate of swing-state surveys showing Obama hitting 50% in thee such states, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania. The item has led on Memeorandum at least since I first checked the blog aggregator.
The Huffington Post trumpeted the Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times polls as . . .
. . . somewhat surprising since the new polls mark the first time in 2012 that the Quinnipiac pollsters have reported the preferences of those deemed most likely to vote in November rather than all registered voters. As such, the New York Times report warns explicitly that the new findings “cannot be compared with previous surveys.”
Problem is is that tis likely-voter screens assumes a Democratic turnout far greater than in the very Democratic year of 2008. Ed Morrissey fills us in:
The CBS/NYT model has Democrats a +9 in Florida when in 2008 they were only a +3 and an even split in the 2010 midterms. Ohio’s sample has exactly the split in 2008 (D+8), which is nine points better than Democrats did in the midterms. Pennsylvania’s numbers (D+6) come closest to a rational predictive model, somewhere between 2008′s D+7 and 2010′s D+3, but still looking mighty optimistic for Democratic turnout.
Jim Geraghty finds that, in the Ohio and Florida surveys, the pollsters included a sample of voters who, in 2008, gave Obama a greater margin over McCain than did the final returns that year:
Jon in Washington points out another incongruity: In most polls Romney is tied nationally, but he’s losing the swing states worse than McCain did?
When Quinnipiac asked its swing state samples, “Did you vote for Barack Obama or John McCain in 2008? Obama enjoys a 13 percentage point margin in Florida and a 15 percentage point margin in Ohio. Of course, in 2008, Obama won Florida by three percentage points and Ohio by 4.6 percentage points.
These is not a poll of likely voters, but of voters the folks at New Yorks believes should be the most likely to vote.
ADDENDUM: The poll shows Obama up 22-points among independents in Pennsylvania. That number is highly suspect, given that in 2008, Obama won independents by 19 points in the Keystone State. With all polls showing his numbers down since the stars aligned for him four years ago, there is no way Obama is doing better among independents today than he did when first elected.