The stories that ~20% of Ohio voters have already cast votes has been floating around the blogosphere and twitterverse ever since the completely biased NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Ohio last week. I dismissed this as a noteworthy story to debunk because the statistic was so obviously false I didn’t think it even warranted mentioning. To me it was just another stupid anomaly in an obviously biased poll. But this grossly false statistic is showing up in otherwise credible news stories. Today alone the LA Times ran a story on the battle for Ohio when I ran across this passage arguing for Obama strength in the state:
To counter the expected Republican advantage on the air, Obama will rely on his formidable get-out-the-vote operation, based in 120 offices in every part of the state. Already, just over a week into early voting here, that has begun paying off. The early vote so far comes to nearly a fifth of the likely turnout, election officials estimate, and so far has been disproportionately from areas that went for Obama in 2008. (An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released Thursday showed that 18% of likely voters said they already had cast ballots and 63% supported Obama.)
This is 100% false.
Sarah Hoyt guest blogging on Instapundit today, directs readers to a post on Ace of Spades shedding light on that patently false figure — it is part and parcel of the campaign to demoralize GOP voters since a low turnout is Obama’s only path to victory:
CAC’s bone of contention is this statistic is showing up in a PPP poll. For any new readers I don’t blog PPP polls because they are openly biased and not credible. Today’s takedown at Ace of Spades is only the latest instance:
[According to PPP's poll in Ohio] 19% of respondents have already voted and they are breaking 3-1 Obama. That seems to spell certain doom for Romney.
CAC then points out 3 red flags in PPP’s figure basically noting that in the most populous county that also leans heavily Democrat, the early vote total is under 5%. This makes it mathematically implausible Team Obama is over-performing elsewhere across the state enough to push the aggregate % to 19% or 20%. But that is just absentee ballots so CAC goes straight to the Secretary of State who only a few days ago released early in-person where we find that “59,353 Ohioans have already cast an absentee ballot in person.” Based on these figures CAC concludes the statistic is wrong and anyone using the stat “is either ignorant of the actual statistical numbers reported or they are deliberately pushing a very, very steamy pile.”
But instead of extrapolating from one county across the state, let’s do the math ourselves with actual figures since the press refuses to do their homework:0
- 256,915 absentee votes cast absentee thus far
- 59,353 have cast in-person votes according to the Secretary of State
- This totals 316,268 votes cast
- The aggregate vote total for Ohio in 2008 was 5,721,374
- 316, 268 divided by 5,721,374 equals 0.055 or 5.5%
Therefore the laws of mathematics say 5.5% of votes have been cast in Ohio using early voting simply based on the 2008 turnout. The percentage goes lower if we assume a rejuvenated GOP or increased turnout from Team Obama micro-targeting.
This is far, far, far from the 19% or 20% figure being bandied about by PPP, NBC, the Wall Street Journal and LA Times among others.
We blogged about this “project demoralize” phenomenon before but it is clear the media lackeys for the Obama campaign will create and parrot any false story they can to improve Obama’s chances and keep Romney voters home.