USA Today invested good money surveying people who are not going to vote in this year's elections.
Why? So they could find out how Barack Obama would do in November if everyone did vote.
According to this survey among the people who will not be voting Obama beats Mitt Romney 43% to 14%.
Yes, I know. There is a certain Alice-in-Wonderland aspect to all this, but let's keep going.
For instance the sample contained 351 people who were registered to vote, and registered with one of the two major parties, but said there was no more than a 50/50 chance that they would participate.
Of those 351 people, 242 (30%) said they were registered Democrats. 109 (14%) said they were Republicans.
Given that sample, it is something less than shocking that they favored Obama.
Maybe it's just as well that these geniuses will not be clogging up your precinct on November 6. According to Susan Page's analysis in USA Today,
"Only 39% could correctly name the vice president, Joe Biden."
But that's not the important point in all of this. The important point is: If these data are correct and people who are not likely to vote favor Obama slightly more than 3-1, then every poll we read that includes "Adults" or "Registered Voters" should be considered fatally skewed toward Obama.
Only polls that use "Likely Voters" can be considered legitimate (assuming all the other legitimizing factors are adhered to).
In the six national polls listed in the RealClearPolitics.com summary of polls, four were samples of "Registered Voters." In those four polls Obama leads by an average of six percentage points.
In the two polls that sampled only "Likely Voters," Romney leads by an average of 1.5 percentage points.
Ok. I understand that is statistical sophistry, but I wanted to make the point that if the USA Today data are legit than the polls of Registered Voters have to be discounted because much - if not all - of the lead Obama has is a lead among people who are Not. Going. To. Vote.
Even at that, Obama's lead in the RCP averages has shrunk from 4.2 percent to 3.0 percent since Paul Ryan was announced as Romney's running mate.
Democrats have been selling the theory that, in choosing Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has to own every semi-colon in the Ryan Budget document.
Let's step back into the WayBack machine and return to 2008 when Sen. Barack Obama's primary campaign against Sen. Hillary Clinton was almost totally based upon his opposition to the Iraq War and the fact that Sen. Clinton had voted for it.
Obama picked Joe Biden to be his running mate. Joe Biden voted for the invasion of Iraq, too.
No one in 2008 suggested that because Obama chose Biden that Obama now had to own Biden's vote.
That would have been ridiculous on its face in 2008. Demanding that Romney own every detail in Ryan's budget is just as ridiculous in 2012.
Biden, finally living up to his billing as the Man Most Likely to Choke on His Own Foot did it again the other day when, in Danville, Virginia, he said that Republicans want to "unchain Wall Street."
Nothing wrong with that, but then that highly anticipated Biden brain - ah - stumble kicked in and, according to the Associated Press
"Hundreds of black people were in the audience when Biden added, 'They're going to put y'all back in chains.'"
Obama thought this was a perfectly reasonable thing to say, but former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder, who is Black, said that in making that remark
"Biden separated himself from what he accused the people of doing. As a matter of fact what he said is, they are going to do something to y'all, not to me, not us. So he was still involved with that separate America. And I'm sick and tired of being considered something other than an American."
I will happily donate to the Obama campaign to keep Joe Biden out on the stump.