After a few weeks spent tracking down and questioning pollsters and the reporters of polls, I can assure the reader that pollsters are the modern-day alchemists. They promise to turn numbers into predictive gold. We'd all like to believe these magical powers exist, but we shouldn't. The pollsters of 2012 just don't know who is going to win in November any more than did the pollsters of 1980 know that Ronald Reagan was headed towards a landslide in that late-breaking year.
If one or two polling organizations deliberately skewed their polls (thereby demolishing their most important business asset, a reputation for reliability), I would find this perhaps plausible. But ALL the major polling organizations? Perhaps the most reliable poll isn't a poll at all: Intrade's betting line on the election, where people put up their own money. Obama has a clear lead in ELECTORAL VOTES (the only votes that really count) with 334 (270 needed to win). To win, Romney will have to sweep almost all the "battleground states": FL, OH, CO, VA, NM, WI, and MI. Right now, Intrade has Obama taking all of them. The same prediction holds at electoral-vote.com.
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