The Washington Post, possibly still smarting after their best efforts in 2009 to derail a Republican ascendancy in Virginia flamed out, have unleashed a new poll on the commonwealth that contends President Obama has an eight point lead over Mitt Romney.
You can dive through the questions, swim through the assorted data, but make sure you head toward the bottom, where this gem on the partisan composition of the poll awaits the patient:
Don’t Know: 4
What a result that can confirm your narrative? Skew the audience. And that’s exactly what the WaPo has done. Or consider it in this context, from Jim Riley at Virginia Virtucon:
Here are the numbers from the last three statewide Virginia elections:
2006 – 39% Republican, 36% Democrats, and 26% Independents
2008 – 33% Republicans, 39% Democrats, and 27% Independents
2009 – 37% Republicans, 33% Democrats, and 30% Independents
That gives us an average of:
36.3% Republicans, 36.0% Democrats, and 27.6% Independents
By those averages, the WaPo has undersampled Democrats by four points, Republicans by 12 and oversampled independents by 12.
It’s almost as if the WaPo sees Virginia, and the rest of the world, like this: