We are only 5 weeks out from the big day, when Mitt Romney hopes to capture the White House and help the Koch Bros. realize their dream of turning back America’s clock to the greatest era of all — the days of the late 19th=-century robber barons.
Alas, the Mittster’s chances are looking only a bit less dim than they were last week, when they were appearing increasingly glum. Rumor has it that Charles and David Koch are grinding down their molars in restless slumbers. They’re looking at $100 million down the drain, after all.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, meanwhile, who used to be Newt Gingrich’s political sugar daddy, has now gone all-in on Mitt. If this election was a craps game, Adelson would have $100 million on the “pass” line and at the same time be mortally afraid the next shooter would roll snake eyes.
Adelson’s so frantic he’s phoning Benny Netanyahu every hour, demanding Israel bomb Iran immediately. The only path he can see to a Romney victory is if the world blows up first.
You can can understand the cause for these concerns. It’s right there in the polls, particularly the polling average on Real Clear Politics. One week ago, Obama was ahead by 3.7 points according to that average. It grew steadily during last week, to 4.1 on Sunday. Monday, the RCP average settled back to 3.2 by today.
Even worse for Romney are the numbers in the swing states, where this election will actually be decided. Consider Ohio. A poll there released Sunday by the Columbus Distpatch puts Obama ahead by 9 points. It was fifth poll in a row that put Obama ahead by at least 5 points in the Buckeye state. All of those were outside the margin of error. It’s highly unlikely Romney can win the election without Ohio.
Nevertheless, as my good buddy Terps pointed out last week, hope ain’t lost. No siree! He and certain other RWers have jubilantly discovered Unskewedpolls.com the only polling analysis site in all of the country that shows Romney leading, (as of this morning) by a margin of 4.2 percentage points (down from a 7.8-point “unskewed” lead last Tuesday). Most Republicans who can do two-digit multiplication and division believe this is complete BS. Still, that leaves 110 million or so American voters who consider it credible.
Unskewedpolls.com is run by Dean Chambers, a conservative from Duffield, Va. The tiny out-in-the-sticks hamlet, pop. 91, is about 15 miles northwest of Gate City, Va. And where the hell is that? Gate City is 25 miles or so west-southwest of Abingdon, which is about 125 miles south of Roanoke on Interstate 81.
And who is Chambers? He’s a conservative internet journalist on Examiner.com and some other right-wing websites. According to his Facebook page, he’s a fan of the Tea Party Patriots and The Heritage Foundation. He opposes public-sector unions. Here’s his self-description:
Dean Chambers, an Internet journalist and commentator, launched his writing career by creating an alternative conservative student newspaper while in college. Dean grew up in what James A. Baker called “the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts” and has experienced first-hand the fruits of progressive public policy.
Like when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, right? Ha, just kidding!
Chambers has written many articles, like “Obama Economics is Crushing the Middle Class,“ and others that have mostly existed in relative obscurity. What has recent drawn attention to him, however, are his repeated admonitions to the political class that Romney actually has a is leading Obama president.
The problem as Chambers sees it is that all the major polls out there are horribly out of whack in Obama’s favor. He claims they improperly oversample Democrats — i.e. they count too many Dems and too few Republicans.. So Chambers re-weights the polls on Unskewedpolls.com to make the samples more even-steven. Mitt is not in deep you-know-what after Chambers works his magic with the numbers.
If the election was today, Chambers predicts, Romney would take 317 electoral votes to Obama’s 179. Chambers puts Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan in New Hampshire in Romney’s column. Chambers’ “swing” states are New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. He says Massachusetts is “leaning” toward Obama. Come on!
Perhaps he’s correct and Romney is way ahead. Perhaps we need Chambers’ volunteer smarts in polling analysis to cut through the clumsy mistakes of professional pollsters who have relatively good track records and have been doing this work for years. They aren’t buying it, however. Consider what Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen told Talking Points Memo last week:
“We don’t have any preconceived notions about the party breakdown of a poll before we conduct it. The only things we make any adjustments for are gender, race, and age. It makes sense that as support for Obama increases, more people also identify themselves as Democrats. I know conservatives want to think it’s more Democrats in the poll causing Obama to do better, but it’s actually Obama doing better causing more Democrats in the poll.”
“The reality is that (Republicans are) losing, they can’t accept it, and they’re going to find some reason to dismiss every poll that makes them unhappy no matter what its composition is,” Jensen added. “This isn’t really about Party ID, it’s about hardcore denial.”
We shall find out whether Chambers was right all along in 5 weeks, unless the election is real close, like the 2000 contest was. Then it might take longer.
But I wouldn’t bet on that. And no matter how much Terps wishes to believe Chambers is right, Terps won’t bet on it, either. So far, he’s refused to accept my offer to get down a lunch wager with a handicap based on Chambers’ predictions, but still tilted slightly in Romney’s favor.
I wonder if Chambers would?