The Romney campaign this morning pushed back against a Reuters/Ipsos poll that gave President Barack Obama a significant lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters, calling the poll presumptuous and flawed. The poll shows that among voters that have already cast a ballot, Obama leads Romney 59 per cent to 31 per cent.
Still, the sample size is extremely small, especially among voters in swing states. That’s the message Romney campaign political director Rich Beeson pushed in a memo this morning.
“First and foremost, only 5% of early voting has completed,” Beeson wrote in the memo. “In 2008, nearly 16,000,000 votes were cast before Election Day in the swing states. So far this cycle, just over 950,000 votes have been cast – or 6.01%. Therefore, 94% of all early votes have not even been cast yet. To claim a “big advantage” based off of a phase that’s just 6% complete is almost as absurd as predicting the outcome of a baseball game after the second out.”
The Romney campaign has a point. Reuters only found 361 voters that had already cast a ballot out of the 6,704 people sampled in total. When broken down by swing state, too, that sample crumbles to a small handful of voters.
Here’s a graphic from the Romney campaign:
Photo: Romney campaign
Reuters/Ipsos’ defence is that the poll lines up with its credibility interval, which it uses to determine the accuracy of polls. Still, it’s difficult to make a broad determination on the all-important battleground states with samples of as few as two people in some states. Ipsos didn’t respond to an immediate request for furhter comment.
“Despite what this poll has claimed, it is clear that Governor Romney is poised to over-perform among those who will vote before Election Day,” Beeson wrote.
“Although still early in the process, our campaign continues to be encouraged by the initial requests and returns we have seen. That, coupled with the Governor’s momentum and his advantage among enthusiastic voters, undeniably puts President Obama in an extremely compromising situation with just over three weeks remaining in the election.”
Beeson stressed that the two campaigns have different approaches to early voting: The Obama campaign is attempting to get as many certain Obama supporters to vote before Nov. 6, while the Romney campaign is focusing on “low-propensity” Republicans.
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