Nate Silver, much maligned these days for using actual numbers to analyze the Presidential race, has this to say in the New York Times today:
"(The polls) represent powerful evidence against the idea that the race is a
“tossup.” A tossup race isn’t likely to produce 19 leads for one
candidate and one for the other — any more than a fair coin is likely to
come up heads 19 times and tails just once in 20 tosses. (The
probability of a fair coin doing so is about 1 chance in 50,000.)Instead, Mr. Romney will have to hope that the coin isn’t fair, and instead has been weighted to Mr. Obama’s advantage. In other words, he’ll have to hope that the polls have been biased in Mr. Obama’s favor.
...There are essentially three reasons that a poll might provide an inaccurate forecast of an upcoming election. The first is statistical sampling error...(the second) is that a poll is a snapshot in time — even if you’re sampling the
voters accurately, their opinions could change again before Election
Day...That leaves only the final source of polling error, which is the
potential that the polls might simply have been wrong all along because
of statistical bias."
Silver argues quite persuasively that none of these things is going on at this point. But, of course, there is a fourth factor, which Silver, either because it is unquantifiable, or because the subject is just too painful, does not consider. That is the very real possibility that Republican voter suppression and outright election fraud, which we all know is widespread throughout the country this year, will be sufficient to turn several States from Obama to Romney.
If you truly remember the evidence from 2000 and 2004, you know that, without criminal behavior on the part of Republicans, Bush would have never won either election, and the country would have been spared a multi-trillion dollar war of aggression, and a near-complete economic collapse. The last four years have seen Congressional Republicans use their power to deliberately sabotage the welfare of this country in every way that they could, degrading our credit rating for the first time in history, nearly causing a government default, and damaging the lives of countless tens of millions of Americans. After that, what is a little tampering with the election machines?
"I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how."
-Josef Stalin, 1923