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Fight over ‘bias’ in political polling as numbers show clear edge for Obama (+video)

Most polls give President Obama the lead over Mitt Romney – some by a margin many find startling. Conservatives say that just proves the polls are rigged to give Democrats the advantage.

Monitor political correspondent Liz Marlantes takes a look at one version of the US Electoral College map following the political conventions and how a future map might look as we get closer to November.
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As Mitt Romney and Barack Obama prepare to go mano a mano (rhetorically, at least) in their first debate this week, the fight over skewed polling continues to echo among partisans and pundits.

Most polls give Mr. Obama the lead – some by a margin many find startling. The latest Rand Corp. snapshot has Obama up by 7 points, Gallup’s by 6 points. The RealClearPolitics average of polls gives Obama a 4.3 percent edge over M. Romney.

But some conservative commentators say that just proves the polls are rigged to give Democrats an apparent advantage. And the mainstream media, they charge, is buying into what amounts to a conspiracy by playing up such survey results.

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“A tight presidential contest is fueling a fierce debate over whether the daily stream of polls accurately reflects the dynamics of the presidential race,” blogs Neil King Jr. for the Wall Street Journal.

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner (who calls himself a “recovering pollster”) points out the increasing difficulty in accurately gauging that dynamic.

There’s always a margin of error of 3-4 points, he notes, and the results in one out of 20 polls will be wrong outside the margin of error.


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