Why do all the national news outlets keep making such a big deal about the national polling numbers between Obama and Romney? Most of those polls show around a 47%-47% tie, but the real numbers (the electoral college outlook) is currently far different. For those who don’t know, 270 votes from the electoral college is what is required to be elected president. Currently, the president holds a commanding lead in that respect. In fact, if President Obama were to only win the states he currently holds leads in, and Romney were to win every “toss-up” state, Obama would still be re-elected. Reporting the national polling numbers is about like watching a football game, and the announcers repeatedly telling you how many offensive yards each team has. Yes, it’s somewhat of an indicator of how the game is going, but in the end, the team that wins is the one with the most points.
My theory is that the media is playing up the closeness of the national numbers to create drama. It’s not just good for cable news ratings, it may be good for voter turnout, also; how many people would sit home and not vote next Tuesday if they knew the polling numbers indicated President Obama already held enough of a lead to win the election. Personally, as an Obama supporter and Democrat, a small part of me would get some joy out of an election night that saw Romney win the popular vote, but Obama win the electoral college vote. In this case, both parties will have experienced (in the past 12 years) the shame of seeing their preferred candidate collect the most votes and still lose the presidency. Maybe that’s what it will take to finally fix a broken system.