The Romney-is-up-by-7 points scare, provided to the panting public by Gallup poll, has some nuances which are interesting, a little scary, and maybe all about nothing at all. The guy who did the poll seems to go with the latter. Ezra Klein has the story.
Their seven-day tracking poll shows Romney up by seven points — yes, seven — with likely voters. But he’s only up by one point with registered voters.
It gets weirder: Dig into the poll, and you’ll find that in the most recent internals they’ve put on their Web site — which track from 10/9-10/15 — Obama is winning the West (+6), the East (+4), and the Midwest (+4). The only region he’s losing is the South. But he’s losing the South, among likely voters, by 22 points. That’s enough, in Gallup’s poll, for him to be behind in the national vote. But it’s hard to see how that puts him behind in the electoral college.
If Gallup is right, then that looks to me like we’re headed for an electoral college/popular vote split. Last night, I spoke with Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, to ask him if I was missing something. He said I wasn’t. “That’s certainly what it looks like,” he says.
But Newport was cautious in interpreting his numbers. Gallup’s poll cheered Romney supporters because it showed Romney gaining ground even after the second debate. But Newport didn’t see it like that. Remember, he warned, it’s a seven-day poll. “I think we’re still seeing leftover positive support for Romney and I don’t think we’re seeing impact yet from the second debate,” he says. ...WonkBlog, WaPo
Here's what's interesting and here's what weird: the South effectively seceding from the rest of the country. This can't continue for all that many more generations, can it? Or will we have to resort to putting all of the deep South on a raft and push it out into the Gulf, maybe on a day when a hurricane is predicted?
What's interesting is the possible impact of a possible split between electoral and popular votes. Interesting like 2000. Interesting like getting cancer in a body part you didn't know you had. Interesting like crispy fried cockroaches for dinner.
Whatever. As Mr. Gallup himself says, seven days from now we'll have something else to worry about.