Pollsters think Obama is ahead because that's what voters are telling them

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At www.washingtonpost.com

In 2004, I remember Democrats spending months flocking to analyses from the Donkey Rising blog explaining why the polls were underselling John Kerry's chances. You can find a bunch of examples in the site's October 2004 archives. Now, it seems, it's the GOP's turn to try to prove that the numbers have an anti-them bias. Before we go into the numbers, I'd urge readers to stop and think about incentives for a moment. What incentive does a pollster have to get the 2012 election badly wrong? Blowing a call like that is deeply embarrassing. It hurts your reputation among your peers. It hurts your standing with your media clients, who do not like being accused of bias. It hurts your reputation among your corporate clients, most of whom are not hardcore liberals. Plus, think of the traffic and the adulation you could get right now, this very second, if you were the non-hack pollster...

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At www.washingtonpost.com

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