WRAL has announced the results of a poll they commissioned. They say the Presidential race is too close to call.
With five weeks until the election, North Carolina remains a fierce battleground for Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to a WRAL News poll released Tuesday.
Helpfully, they have posted the actual results of the poll (PDF) so we can investigate it further.
Let’s look at “Party Affiliation,” which is the last set of columns in the Presidential section. WRAL surveyed 571 likely voters and found that 33% were Republicans, 45% were Democrats, and 22% were Independent. If we compare that to the voting for 2008, the exit polls showed 31% Republican, 42% Dem, and 27% Independent. Since 2008 was a historically high year for the Dems, where does WRAL get off showing results for 2012 with an even higher Democrat advantage in party ID?
Why is the media consistently over sampling Democrats in their polling? Some are suggesting that it’s to demoralize Republicans and make them think that Obama’s got it wrapped up and we shouldn’t even bother voting. I think it’s simpler than that. The Media isn’t in the business of selling news. The Media wants to sell your eyeballs.
There’s a rule of thumb, if something’s free, it’s not the product, you’re the product. The Media wants you to tune in and watch their TV station. They need as many eyeballs as possible on their show so that they can charge more for advertising. It’s that advertising that pays their salaries. What happens if you decide that Obama is going down in flames and there is no point in watching any election coverage? News ratings go down, advertising revenues go down, and the Media has to switch back to hyping Kardashian/Lohan/Snooki videos.
The Media wants you to tune in so they are manufacturing a horse race when everyone knows that the Obama horse broke a leg in the first furlong. Expect to hear all about how Romney is “pulling ahead” in the last two weeks of the election coverage. That’s them realigning their polls to reflect actual reality and not media reality.
The question is not “Is North Carolina in play?” The question is “Is Wisconsin in play?”
Sean’s prediction? Romney wins going away. I don’t think we’ll see numbers like Reagan-Carter, but that’s only because I can’t see California going Republican.