One Week To Go and Way Too Close: John Zogby, Forbes Contributor
October 30th 2012 · 0 Comments
So Where Is This Going?
These are the latest results from our NewsmaxZogby Tracking Polls with exactly one week to go in the presidential race between Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and GOP challenger former Governor Mitt Romney.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you (let alone tells the world) who will win this – or even who has the better odds. This is about human campaigners and human voters and not about raw numbers, commodity trades, baseball statistics, the weather, or even history. What we do know is that three of the past four U.S. elections have been too close to call – a statement more about changing demographics and cultural divisions than about probabilities and statistics.
Here is what troubles me, however. As a pollster, I sure want to be right, to be able to show the trends, to get a handle on what is motivating tens of millions of citizens to vote one way or the other. I want to be able to chronicle the American story at a pivotal moment. But as a citizen, I am troubled that we just may not know, that there may not be a clear winner on November 6. With the pending fiscal cliff and numerous other domestic and global crises, Americans may again vote another tie (as they did in 2000 and 2004). And even without a tie, we know that President George W. Bush was not able to use his majority from 2004, just as President Barack Obama was not able to treat his 53% majority from 2008 as a mandate for change.
I believe in the public will. I am a devotee of Jean Jacques Rousseau who wrote that the expression of the full community yields something greater than the sum of its parts. But another tie produces worse than a stalemate. In its most benign form it leads to indecision, to entropy. In its worst form, it allows our problems to get larger and more unsolvable. And even worse than that, both sides end up in the courts. This time, as you can see from the above tables, the courts can be kept busy in more than Florida. Add any number of states, including some that may not even be close.
I am worried. I want to be right as a pollster; but I want clarity on Election Day and am not sure we will get that.
Romney and Obama Too Tight Nationwide -
Romney 47%-Obama 46%;
All Tied Up with Minor Candidates
Obama Moves Up in Florida -
Now Polls 48% to Romney’s 47%;
Nelson Hits 50% in Senate Race and Leads By 9 Points
Obama Up 4 in Ohio — 49%-45%;
Brown Grows Lead to 8 Points