More bad news for Democrats

Independents not only are more likely to blame Democrats for the post-health care vote vandalism and threats, a vast majority believe Democrats abused their power to pass the unwanted bill. According to a new Gallup released a new poll today:

* When asked whom they think was a "major reason" for "post-health care vote threats and vandalism," more independent voters blamed Democrats (50 percent) than conservative commentators (44 percent) or Republicans (40 percent.)

* An amazing 58 percent of independent voters say Democrat actions in passing the health care bill constitute an "abuse of power."

Will the Obama presidency be retired by Florida?

Nate Silver, one of the sharper liberal bloggers and statisticians, finds for Obama to win re-election in 2012 he may likely have to find a way to come up with 270 electoral votes without Florida.

Obama won Florida with only 50.92 percent, but polls shows massive opposition to his health care plan and Israel policy may place the state all but off-limits.

That's significant because the 2012 election will be decided by an Electoral College reshaped by the 2010 Census. Many states Obama lost, like Texas, will be gaining representation in the College, while Obama's stronghold of the Northeast and Midwest will lose representation.

Obama won the 2008 election with 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173. But based on Clark Benson's projected 2012 Electoral College Obama would have won 360 votes, five fewer as voters flee Democrat-dominated states.

Five votes may not sound like much, but that was the difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2004.

And with Florida projected to gain a 28th vote, losing that state means Obama starts with 33 electoral votes off the map. A swing of 33 electoral votes would not only have handed Gore an easy win, it would have also almost exactly flipped the 2004 election and given the presidency to John Kerry.

And that likely flip of 33 electoral votes to the Republican in 2012 is nothing more than already-occurred population changes and a switch of as little as 1.4 percent of Florida voters. Heavy opposition to Obama policies is all but certain to chop more Electoral College votes off Obama's 2008 total.

Also losing Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, all swing or traditionally Republican states, would likely hand the presidency to a Republican. And that's assuming Obama wins swing states like Colorado and Ohio. By losing Florida, Obama could keep states like Virginia and a large swing state like Ohio and still lose the presidency.

With more of the College's 538 seats going to Republican-dominated states, it's critical Obama hold on to Florida, but ObamaCare and his Israel policy are making a 2012 reelection a tougher undertaing.

Straightening the Post's skewed health care polling

In today's Washington Examiner, Byron York had the same question I did about The Washington Post's Sunday poll claiming Americans were "split" over ObamaCare instead of opposed -- why didn't the Post reveal how independents felt?

York finally got the partisan breakdowns from poll director Jon Cohen and they reveal independents bitterly oppose ObamaCare and believe Obama is lying on virtually every claim he made.

York didn't address the other problem with the poll -- how they deflated opposition by undersampling Republicans by a whopping eight percent.

The Post's sample was of 1,000 adults was composed of 34 percent Democrats, 24 percent Republicans and 38 percent independents (with four percent saying "other" or "don't know.") That conflicts sharply with current partisan identification trends, which put the country at 35.1 percent Democratic (and falling,) 32.1 percent Republican and 32.9 percent unaffiliated.

The Post undersampled Republicans by eight percent. Making up for it by oversampling Democrats would be blatant bias, but filling that gap in with independents is harder for some to spot.

Now, York writes, "On the support-or-oppose question, 82 percent of Republicans oppose the new law (73 percent strongly), while 76 percent of Democrats support it (56 percent strongly). Among independents, 56 percent oppose the new law (44 percent strongly), while 40 percent support it (26 percent strongly)."

While York gave full numbers for independents, but did not provide Republicans in support or Democrats opposed, an estimated breakdown of the Post's sample goes like this.

Democrats: 258.4 support, 81.6 oppose
Republicans: 43.2 support, 196.8 oppose
Independents: 152.0 support, 491.2 oppose

That comes out to 453.6 support (45.4 percent) and 491.2 oppose (49.1 percent.) Almost exactly the Post's final numbers.

So let's take the Post's numbers and figure out what the real number is when you use an accurate universe, and not the Post's light-on-Republicans universe.

Assuming support and opposition numbers aren't skewed to favor Obama, as the Post's sample is, by applying the Post's by-partisan-ID numbers to a partisan-accurate universe of voters you find:

Democrats: 266.76 support, 84.24 oppose
Republicans: 57.78 support, 263.22 oppose
Independents: 131.6 support, 184.24 oppose

That comes out to 456.1 support (45.6 percent) and 531.7 oppose (53.2 percent.)

So had the Post not undersampled Republicans, but used real numbers, the story would have been that 53 percent of Americans oppose ObamaCare, not the supposed "46 percent to 50 percent 'split'" the Post claims.

That 53 percent to 46 percent margin being, of course, the same margin of victory Obama got when the Post reported he won a "landslide" in 2008.

That's more on par with virtually all other polls, and an indicator of just how skewed the Washington Post's polls are.

Not a 50 percent to 46 percent "split," but a healthy 53 percent to 46 percent margin against. Or as the Post puts it, a "landslide."