Not that they say that, of course.
Two weeks of Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll interviews find 84 percent of likely voters who supported Obama in 2008 support him this year, while 13 percent say they are switching to Romney and 3 percent are backing others or haven’t made up their mind yet.
Now, let’s just assume for the moment that we have 100% turnout from 2008 and that every voter then is a likely voter now (God knows that happens a lot, particularly with the state polls these days). 69.46 million people voted for Obama; 59.93 for McCain. Assuming that Obama gets 84% of that total then he’ll be effectively handing over 9.03 million votes to Romney, 2.08 million to third-party votes, and be at 58.34 million votes… or less than McCain’s totals.
Well all right, then.
Don’t read too much into this; we don’t know how much support Romney’s lost from McCain voters (although if it was anything like this, the Washington Post would tell us); it’s not actually sane to assume that every 2008 voter is a likely 2012 one; I’m not so sure I buy some of the reported drop-offs in support; and I’ll be the first to tell you that I am utterly ignoring EVERYTHING since Election Day 2008 that could have changed the voting totals . My point here, though, is to note that the President losing nearly one-in-six of his 2008 support from the start is much more newsworthy than its appearance in an online WaPo daily blog/journal might suggest. Especially since it happens to contradict the strange core assumption that the electorate is going to be as Democratic this year as it was in 2008, if not more…