After reading Ben White's "Morning Money" report at the Politico this morning, I went back to Real Clear Politics to make sure that I was up to date on the current polling. Currently, RCP has Barack Obama up by 3.2 points over Mitt Romney in an average of the five most recent polls -- and at least two of those polls are cooked.
But if we're to believe White, "bankers and their lobbyists" are already talking "about what went wrong with the Romney campaign, as if there is no chance the GOP nominee will turn it around and eke out a close win over President Obama."
As I noted yesterday, despite recent Gallup and Rasmussen polls showing party affiliation at +3 for Democrats and +3 for Republicans, respectively, the Washington Post-ABC poll included in RCPs most recent five was weighted +6 for Democrats and shows Obama with a one-point lead among likely voters. If equally weighted, Romney would have polled at aboout +4.
Similarly, a CNN/Opinion Research poll (large PDF) showing Obama with a six-point lead among registered voters was weighted (with leaners) 50-45 in favor Dems; with equal Dem-GOP representation, the results would more than likely show a dead heat. Thus, it's sheer fantasy to claim that either candidate has a tangible lead.
None of this stopped the "Morning Money" folks from trying to sow the seeds of an "it's over" meme cloaked by total anonymity:
IS WALL STREET GIVING UP ON ROMNEY? – In numerous conversations recently, M.M. has noted the extent to which bankers and their lobbyists talk about what went wrong with the Romney campaign, as if there is no chance the GOP nominee will turn it around and eke out a close win over President Obama. Despite polls showing that among likely voters the race remains tight, many bankers who support Romney seem convinced that swing state polls, especially in Ohio, mean the race is essentially over. This does not mean the Wall Street checks will stop (at least for now).
But it does mean plans are now under way for dealing with a second Obama administration. Said one top executive: “All I hear now is ‘What will Washington be like under Obama for four more years?’ not ‘Who is going to be Mitt’s Treasury secretary?’” To be sure, part of this is bankers wanting to sound smart given recent coverage suggesting Romney is trailing. But it’s also people who make their money by anticipating likely outcomes deciding this one is moving decisively away from Romney.
Oh, the PPP poll in Ohio which forms the basis for much of the alleged pessimism is also cooked.
"Morning Money" then cites a CNBC report which was to go out at 7 a.m. today telling us that:
Per CNBC’s Steve Liesman on a report the network is releasing at 7 a.m.: "Wall Street appears to be planning for a victory by President Obama but hoping for one by Mitt Romney. In an unscientific poll, 46% of respondents to the September CNBC Fed Survey said they expect … Obama to win reelection."
The more than unscientific sample size (seriously): 58. Give me a flippin' break.
This is a made-up meme based on anecdotal and meaningless information apparently created for the purpose of demoralizing Obama opponents and Romney supporters who are relatively disengaged. Yet Politico, and for that matter CNBC, expect this stuff to be taken seriously. Not here, and hopefully not anywhere else -- except as textbook example of media bias.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.