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Why Romney Doesn’t Need a Poll Lead in Ohio
National Review ^ | 10/25/2012 | Josh Jordan

Posted on 10/25/2012 7:12:42 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The race for Ohio is slowly tightening, but Mitt Romney does not hold a lead in a single poll in the current Real Clear Politics average (he is tied in two). Two polls from Time and CBS/Quinnipiac have grabbed headlines by showing Obama a five-point lead in each. Romney is chipping away at Obama’s poll lead, but the Democratic advantage in party-ID has increased across these polls. When looking at the polls in Ohio, it is becoming entirely possible that Mitt Romney should be able to win Ohio without ever showing a consistent lead in the polls, or any lead at all.

In the past week Romney has trimmed four-tenths of a point off of his deficit in the RCP average, going from 2.5 to 2.1, but at the same time, the average party-ID advantage for Democrats in these polls has risen from 5.5 to 6.5. A big reason for the increase in Democrats’ share in the polls is due to early voting. If a pollster calls someone who says they voted already, they are automatically passed through the likely-voter screen since they have, after all, voted. The problem with this can be best summed up by Gregory House: “Everybody lies.”

Pollsters can only work with what their respondents tell them, and this is the reason that likely-voter screens can be so tricky, though important, in polling. The preferable response is that you are going to vote or, in the case of Ohio, that you’ve already voted. Many respondents will say they are going to vote (or have voted) when in fact they may not end up doing it (this effect is known as social-desirability bias). For this reason, some likely-voter screens ask about previous elections and general political enthusiasm to gauge the actual likelihood that a voter will end up in the booth on Election Day. But that is where early voting throws the screen out the window — if a voter says they voted, there is nothing a pollster can do to but assume that it’s true.

Enter Ohio, where the current estimates from compiling early in-person and absentee voting shows early turnout to be about 15 percent of voters. But responses in the current polls claim that 23 percent of registered voters have already voted. That means that polls are overstating early voting by eight percentage points on average. This could be in part because some voters have requested an absentee ballot and report that as voting, some have mailed in ballots that haven’t been counted as received yet, but some voters are also just flat out saying they voted when they haven’t. It’s impossible to know the exact reason, but it’s clear that more are claiming to vote than really have.

In the polls’ early-voting results, Obama leads on average by 20 points. There are indications that the GOP has shrunk the Democratic advantage in this category significantly from 2008, but it is unclear how much. Either way, Obama’s early-voting advantage gives him a lead that Romney is only scraping away at with his Election Day voter lead. But if pollsters are finding more respondents who are claiming to have already voted than what the records show, some of this early-voter advantage is illusory.

This is why it is increasingly difficult for Romney to show an lead in the Ohio polls. But even with Obama currently enjoying a 2.1 point lead, Romney is still in great shape to win Ohio on Election Day. Here are some of the reasons for the optimism coming from Boston these days:

Romney’s strength with independents keeps growing: Last week when Obama led the Real Clear Politics average by 2.5 points, Romney led among independents by an average of 8.7 points. Romney has since increased that lead with independents to 12.3 points, which is why he’s been able to cut Obama’s overall lead even as the polls have leaned more Democratic. In 2008 Obama beat McCain with independents by eight points. It would be almost impossible for Obama to win Ohio while suffering a 20-point swing among independents.

The polls give Democrats a better turnout advantage than they had in 2008: As I explained in my last Ohio post, in 2008 Democrats beat Republicans in turnout by five points. The current polls show an average of D+6.6. A D+5 turnout in 2008 gave Obama a 4.5-point victory, while he is currently leading by only 2.1 points on an even greater D+6.6 turnout. Again, we know it should be very difficult for Democrats to match their 2008 turnout, let alone increase it.

History suggests late deciders will break against the incumbent: This is a rule that always receives some skepticism, but it’s very likely to benefit Romney at least some on Election Day. In 2004, late deciders broke against George W. Bush heavily, even though he was a wartime president. John Kerry beat Bush by 25 points among voters who decided in the last month, 28 points among voters that decided in the three days prior to Election Day, and 22 points among day-of deciders. Those voters were 20 percent of the Ohio electorate; while this year there are expected to be fewer late deciders, Obama cannot afford to lose among by those margins and still win.

In Ohio, Republicans tend to outperform their share of the national vote: In the last nine elections, the GOP has outperformed in Ohio. With Romney currently running just ahead of Obama nationally, it seems much more likely that Obama’s lead in Ohio has more to do with the higher party-ID advantage than a dramatic shift in Ohio from the past nine elections.

Strength with crossover voters in Ohio: In addition to Romney’s strength with independents, in the past two elections the GOP candidate has won over more Democrat votes than he’s lost Republican ones. Obama’s Ohio win in 2008 was based entirely on his strength with independents and the wave turnout, both of which are highly unlikely to be repeated in 2012. If Romney wins with independents by anywhere near the current average he has and takes more crossover voters than Obama does, Obama would need to exceed 2008 turnout greatly to win.

So, with less than two weeks until Election Day we will all know the results soon enough, but as more Ohio polls come in, it is important to remember that the picture for Romney in Ohio is better than many pundits would have us believe. It only takes a quick look at Romney’s rallies to remind us it’s not 2008 anymore, as Republicans have reclaimed the enthusiasm advantage that led to such sweeping 2008 victories for Democrats. That GOP enthusiasm has become contagious since the debates, and it is exactly what has Team Obama so afraid these days. All they have left to hang their hopes on is a slim lead in the polls, and even that might not be enough on Election Day.

— Josh Jordan is a small-business market-research consultant.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: 2012polls; 2012swingstates; elections; oh2012; ohio; romney

1 posted on 10/25/2012 7:12:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

It doesn’t really matter if a poll ever shows Romney leading in OH.

Obama’s internals are so bad that he is just falling behind as the days dwindle.

My take is Romney wins OH by 4+ to 5+ next month.


2 posted on 10/25/2012 7:17:26 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved FrieGrnd Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: SeekAndFind; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; DoughtyOne; Gilbo_3; Impy; stephenjohnbanker; NFHale; ...
I was hoping a Republican would address Ohio. Thoughts?

Enter Ohio, where the current estimates from compiling early in-person and absentee voting shows early turnout to be about 15 percent of voters. But responses in the current polls claim that 23 percent of registered voters have already voted. That means that polls are overstating early voting by eight percentage points on average. This could be in part because some voters have requested an absentee ballot and report that as voting, some have mailed in ballots that haven’t been counted as received yet, but some voters are also just flat out saying they voted when they haven’t. It’s impossible to know the exact reason, but it’s clear that more are claiming to vote than really have.
In the polls’ early-voting results, Obama leads on average by 20 points. There are indications that the GOP has shrunk the Democratic advantage in this category significantly from 2008, but it is unclear how much. Either way, Obama’s early-voting advantage gives him a lead that Romney is only scraping away at with his Election Day voter lead. But if pollsters are finding more respondents who are claiming to have already voted than what the records show, some of this early-voter advantage is illusory.
This is why it is increasingly difficult for Romney to show an lead in the Ohio polls. But even with Obama currently enjoying a 2.1 point lead, Romney is still in great shape to win Ohio on Election Day. : “

3 posted on 10/25/2012 7:19:35 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: LS; Ravi; Perdogg

Ping!


4 posted on 10/25/2012 7:27:49 AM PDT by KansasGirl ("If you have a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."--B. Hussein Obama)
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To: SeekAndFind

Will the Paulites be a factor in the election?

I know that some freepers are Paulites.

Ron Paul Knows His Supporters Won’t Reliably Be for Romney

Brian Doherty|Oct. 3, 2012 2:43 pm

Ron Paul talked to Fox Business about where the presidential vote of his fans might go:

Paul said, “Some will be angry at the Republicans for the way they retreated at the convention and they might not show up. Some may vote libertarian, some may go with Romney, and actually, some of the young people because of foreign policy, may even go with Obama. […] I know one thing for certain, that they’re not all going to the one place because they’re very individualistic and they don’t see the consequences exactly the same.”

http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/03/ron-paul-knows-his-supporters-wont-relia/print


5 posted on 10/25/2012 7:28:39 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: SeekAndFind

Interesting analysis.


6 posted on 10/25/2012 7:29:59 AM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: KansasGirl; SeekAndFind; LS; Perdogg; napscoordinator; God luvs America; nutmeg; SoFloFreeper; ...

thanks!


7 posted on 10/25/2012 7:30:14 AM PDT by Perdogg (Vote like the US Constitution depends on it - it does!!)
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To: goldstategop

Gingrich was on the radio yesterday and said the internal polling shows Romney up two in Ohio (he had been down by four in the internal polling there before the debates) and up by one in Wisconsin.


8 posted on 10/25/2012 7:35:53 AM PDT by comebacknewt (Newt (sigh) what could have been . . .)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Real Clear Politics AVERAGE of polls is probably the worst barometer of the status of the contest this close to an election, especially in a rapidly changing electorate.

It would be as if to say a horse that breaks last and finishes first (yes it happens) averaged mid-pack when they actually won.

Polls that are two days old are obsolete with a surging candidate. Real Clear averages a group of polls that dilute the current momentum.

There may be some validity in the AVERAGE perspective substantially further back in the calendar but it is ridiculous to cite this poll now.


9 posted on 10/25/2012 7:36:53 AM PDT by scannell
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To: SeekAndFind

In short, Romney CANNOT lose with the lead he is holding among Independents. Statistically impossible.


10 posted on 10/25/2012 7:37:23 AM PDT by nhwingut (Single Issue Voter: Obama Must Go!)
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To: sickoflibs

The article did not address the GM bailout and that is the entire focus of both Obama’s campaign and the Dem Senatorial campaign.

The article was powerful as far as it went.


11 posted on 10/25/2012 7:40:13 AM PDT by StandAndDeliver1
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To: KeyLargo

Does the fact that Rand Paul is working hard for Romney allow his father to fully help Romney while not alienating his followers?

Any Ron Paul sympathizer is going to have noticed that Rand Paul supports Romney.


12 posted on 10/25/2012 7:40:23 AM PDT by StandAndDeliver1
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To: goldstategop; SeekAndFind
My take is Romney wins OH by 4+ to 5+ next month.

I doubt it.

The union bailout of GM/Chrysler plays big in OH. Also, the Pub's came to power in 2010 and started making real changes which has led to economic growth, especially in central OH., so unemployment is down. Finally, the Roman Catholic vote is not believed to have changed enough to have any real impact.

I hope the author's analysis is correct. I don't see a blowout in OH for Romney just as I don't see PA., or MI., going for Romney.

13 posted on 10/25/2012 7:41:43 AM PDT by wmfights
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To: KeyLargo

Rand Paul was enthusiastically welcomed to Michael Medved’s show last weak, even though Medved in the past has said many nasty things about his father.


14 posted on 10/25/2012 7:47:47 AM PDT by StandAndDeliver1
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To: sickoflibs

He danced around it, but the obvious conclusion is the sample is way off. If 8% have actually voted, yet 20% or more of your respondents have voted, your sample is wrong. It is skewed somehow. So, a smart mathematician begins to look at internals - demographics that are unrepresentative of what they know the electorate typically is. In this case, oversampling the Dems is obvious in so many of these polls.


15 posted on 10/25/2012 7:49:45 AM PDT by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The same thing happens with “veterans”. Gallup and Pew regularly find that the percentage of the population who identify themselves as Vietnam veterans is actually about twice the number who actually served during that period. My guess is that this is also reflected in the “veteran support” for BHO or Ron Paul.


16 posted on 10/25/2012 7:52:56 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: StandAndDeliver1
RE :’The article did not address the GM bailout and that is the entire focus of both Obama’s campaign and the Dem Senatorial campaign.’

I agree 100%. You are in tune.

Obama’s massive TARP handout to GM (started by GWB) will help him in OH and Republicans were ineffective in convincing the other swing states that all that money gone (added to national debt) was bad for them, unlike like when Rs got voters to turn against the state based handouts in O-care.

17 posted on 10/25/2012 8:01:50 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: wmfights; goldstategop; SeekAndFind
This article is something you should read then. Cuyahoga county is the road block to a Romney win if enthusiasm for the Democrats is low throughout the state..... which it is. Franklin county (Columbus) is the breakeven point and Hamilton county (Cincy) is the Republican version of Cuyahoga county (Cleveland) and a thorn in the Democrats' side. Montgomery and Stark counties tend to be the bell weathers.

As Cuyahoga county becomes weaker for the Democrats in numbers Ohio becomes more difficult to win because the rural counties can make up the difference and move Ohio to the Republicans on Election day.

It is possible that Romney will win Ohio by this much and having lived in Ohio most of my life, now watching it from Georgia, I can tell you also that RCP rarely if ever gets it right......

I, too, think Ohio will will be won by a 4 to 5 point spread.

18 posted on 10/25/2012 8:15:25 AM PDT by thingumbob (I'm a bitter clinger...I dare you to take my gun)
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To: sickoflibs

None of this matters. If Romney wins independents by the margins indicated in these polls, election over.

Didn’t a lot of private sector union members vote for Walker in the recall?

All people aren’t brainwashed by the unions.


19 posted on 10/25/2012 8:27:16 AM PDT by HawkHogan
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To: thingumbob

Thanks for the link, an interesting read.


20 posted on 10/25/2012 8:32:12 AM PDT by wmfights
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To: SeekAndFind

I’d rather have the lead.

In 2008, of 8 million registered voters, 2.5 million registered Ohio voters did not vote. The challenge for the GOP is getting the half of those who are probably GOP, over a million votes, to the polls. They will then win in a landslide, because Obama is not a hot prospect any more.


21 posted on 10/25/2012 8:49:05 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: wmfights
Don't need a 'blowout' just enough to take the State.

Obama isn't going to win the State without the Independent voters and they are going strong for Romney.

22 posted on 10/25/2012 8:50:59 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: wmfights
Your most welcome.....always glad to send relief to a fellow FReeper......

It's better than the tranquilizers we were passing around four years ago.....the Democratic Underground has cornered the market on that this time around. The DUmmie FUnnies thread has been great reading in this election cycle and election day is going to be pure schadenfreude.......

23 posted on 10/25/2012 9:06:26 AM PDT by thingumbob (I'm a bitter clinger...I dare you to take my gun)
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To: StandAndDeliver1

You are confusing Senator Rand Paul, with his corrupt, goofy cult leader father.


24 posted on 10/25/2012 10:47:54 AM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt Romney is a mixture of LBJ and Nixon, Obama is a mixture of LBJ and Jimmy Carter.)
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To: HawkHogan

It’s complicated.

A lot of WI voters just hated the entire recall idea and voted for Walker in protest. Some WI union members have family in small business and understand economics. Some people who might have voted for Barrett stayed home because of both these points.

OTOH, Walker did well in most areas outside of smaller University towns, Madison and Milwaukee. Even where he lost in these sorts of areas, it was by less than one would suspect.


25 posted on 10/25/2012 10:47:56 AM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: ansel12
You are confusing Senator Rand Paul, with his corrupt, goofy cult leader father.

It's interesting you didn't manage to understand what I was saying.

26 posted on 10/25/2012 11:08:43 AM PDT by StandAndDeliver1
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To: sickoflibs; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; Impy; GOPsterinMA; randita; Sun; LdSentinal; ...

I hope that this editorial is right. But Ohio is usually about 2% more Republican than the nation as a whole, note that the McCain/Palin ticket nearly won there in 2008.

I am confident about North Carolina and cautiously optomistic about Florida and Virginia. If Ohio falls to Obama, than the difference needs to be made up in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada. This is my take as of today:

New Hampshire- has swung heavily against Obama, IMHO, Romney’s odds are a little bit more than 50/50. However, the swing vote there is very large.

Wisconsin- Paul Ryan needs to spend as much time in Wisconsin as humanly possible until election day. I think it’s still leaning very narrowly towards Obama and that Ryan’s local popularity is the only reason that it’s so close.

Iowa- it’s dead even right now, with both nominees not being popular.

Colorado- IMHO, Romney is the slight favorite there. Like Virginia, it still leans Republican though less so than it used to due to demographic change.

Nevada- Obama still has a slight edge, due to demographic changes in Las Vegas and Romney’s earlier remark about letting the housing market bottom out (Nevada has the highest number of underwater mortgages in the nation). Romney’s only hope is the significant Mormon vote. This is the real reason for Harry Reid’s nasty personal attacks on Romney.

Pennsylvania- this is still leaning towards Obama, though he’s clearly losing ground there. There has been a recent Republican surge in the Philadelphia suburbs. In 2004, George W. Bush very nearly won the state.


27 posted on 10/25/2012 12:11:08 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Muslims are a people of tolerance, life,and peace, and if you don't agree, they'll murder you)
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To: Clintonfatigued; SJackson; milwguy; Brown Deer; reformedliberal; randita; Impy; InterceptPoint; ...
Wisconsin- Paul Ryan needs to spend as much time in Wisconsin as humanly possible until election day. I think it’s still leaning very narrowly towards Obama and that Ryan’s local popularity is the only reason that it’s so close.

Here is something that requires explanation: Just a few months ago, Wisconsin held that nationally-scrutinized recall election and the GOP retained the governorship by seven points. What on earth has happened there to the 'rats advantage in the interim that Obama can hold even a slim lead there now, especially with the locally popular Ryan as the GOP VP nominee?

28 posted on 10/25/2012 1:06:53 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: justiceseeker93

https://law.marquette.edu/poll/about-the-poll/

“The poll has a margin of error of 3.8%. “

https://law.marquette.edu/poll/results-data/


29 posted on 10/25/2012 2:23:10 PM PDT by Brown Deer (Pray for 0bama. Psalm 109:8)
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To: StandAndDeliver1

It couldn’t have been very interesting, you didn’t bother to educate me, besides, I think I understood you perfectly and the shortness of your post supports that.


30 posted on 10/25/2012 5:18:18 PM PDT by ansel12 (Mitt Romney is a mixture of LBJ and Nixon, Obama is a mixture of LBJ and Jimmy Carter.)
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To: Brown Deer
Thanks for the link to the Marquette poll. Seems like the poll is unbiased in terms of the questions that they ask, and they try to be random in terms of their choice of interviewees.

But I don't know if you can achieve a true random sampling via robocalls to random telephone numbers. Democrats are probably more likely to answer phones and go through the whole questionnaire than are Republicans. Just intuition.

Still, the Marquette poll has Romney down by only one point, well within the margin of error, and that was taken before the second and third debates.

31 posted on 10/25/2012 5:54:01 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: sickoflibs

thought I heard on Foxnews last night that if you tell a pollster/campaign caller that you have already voted that they FINALLY take your name off the list for the constant calls....

that would make anyone lie and say they’ve already voted


32 posted on 10/25/2012 7:05:16 PM PDT by bitt (These Commies are making it impossible to stick to my self-imposed moratorium on foul language)
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To: bitt
RE :”thought I heard on Foxnews last night that if you tell a pollster/campaign caller that you have already voted that they FINALLY take your name off the list for the constant calls....that would make anyone lie and say they’ve already voted”

Anyone? Except their argument is that those saying they already voted are mostly saying they are voting for Obama, and in key states WI and OH,

'Anyone' implies close to 50-50.

33 posted on 10/25/2012 7:17:51 PM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: KeyLargo
in other words Mr. Paul...your followers are nuts, and inconsistant to say the least....

bamey because of foreign policy?....he's going to start a nuclear war...

34 posted on 10/26/2012 12:00:29 AM PDT by cherry
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To: wmfights

don’t forget the Delphi workers and the bond holders who lost tons of money...


35 posted on 10/26/2012 12:02:16 AM PDT by cherry
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To: sickoflibs

Tarp was voted on for one thing and bamey turned it around along with the stimulus to enrich his cronies....I’m tired of Bush bashing when bamey swooped in and did the majority of damage...


36 posted on 10/26/2012 12:04:40 AM PDT by cherry
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To: cherry
RE :”Tarp was voted on for one thing and bamey turned it around along with the stimulus to enrich his cronies....I’m tired of Bush bashing when bamey swooped in and did the majority of damage...”

Ah, one of those ‘ TARP (bailouts) are good for me but not for thee ‘Bushies.

He gave some of that TARP money to GM after the Senate voted down a specific bailout for them.

The song continues :

‘Deficits are good for me but bad for thee’

‘Big gubm is good for me but bad for thee’

‘Taking away liberties is good for me but bad for thee’

Glad we have a choice.

37 posted on 10/26/2012 5:02:06 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: SeekAndFind
Excellent article on FR about the difference between media polls and internal polls. I consider it a "must-read".
38 posted on 10/26/2012 5:16:10 AM PDT by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: cherry
don’t forget the Delphi workers and the bond holders who lost tons of money...

Yeah but these people don't count. They are either non-union, or rich. I think your point can't be made enough, but no one seems to care. This election is a real statement on what type of people we are. Do we believe in mob rule and the politics of envy, or do we believe in individual liberty and property rights.

39 posted on 10/26/2012 8:50:49 AM PDT by wmfights
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