With six weeks until Election Day, new polling from Quinnipiac, the New York Times and CBS News shows President Obama leading in crucial swing states including Ohio, Florida and Iowa. As Obama’s lead grows, so does the number of conservatives who claim polls in general are biased and cannot be trusted. Similar to their dismissal of fact-checkers who flagged lies in Romney’s ads and Paul Ryan’s convention speech, conservatives are now claiming the media outlets that conduct the polls are attempting to discourage Republicans from voting by falsely tipping the polls toward Democrats.
Helping this narrative along is a new website, Unskewed Polls, which claims, after liberal media bias is removed, Romney is in fact beating Obama by a wide margin in every poll. Business Insider unpacked how the website is manipulating data to come up with a Romney victory.
Nicknamed “poll sample truthers” by Dave Weigel, the skeptics are falling over each other to explain how the numbers are lying.
Over at the Juice, the boss notes that there's a method to this madness:
So, I have three theories why they have decided to avoid polling data:
Theory #1- Victimhood is so much easier and far more soothing than objective reality. They can scream about how every polling outlet is against them and affirm the “left wing bias” of the media. Ed Henry and Chris Wallace are giggling right now.
Theory #2- They know they are going to lose, so they are just poisoning the well, trying to nullify the impact of an Obama victory. For Republicans, this is a viable strategy. For Democrats. this seems kind of silly, since anyone with a pulse knows that Jim Demint and the teahadists are going to spend the next four years sabotaging Obama regardless, much like they have for the past four years.
Finally, there is option #3- the point of claiming the polls are wrong is to provide cover for Republican governors to throw the election.
I'm going to go even more long ball on this and put forth a bigger game on Theory 4, (expanding on Cole's Theory 2 only on steroids): Polls were wrong, Obama is the one who stole the election, he should probably be impeached, and replaced with someone who will sign an extremely strict national voter
#1 makes the most sense, but it's too small. #2 makes nearly as much sense, but again, it's thinking too small. #3 has the most short term reward, but given many conservatives hate Romney, I'm not thinking they want to risk such an obvious plot (unless it's to make the race close enough for in one or two states to require multiple recounts in order to continue to pound at the "voter fraud" issue, see my above theory.) Then again, there's SCOTUS to consider.
Anyway, regardless of who wins in November, I fully expect Republicans to institute nationalized voter suppression laws. Count on it. The long term viability of the GOP depends on restricting the vote as much as possible to wealthier, older, white voters and both sides know it.