Once again, Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, then Polls.
Pollsters have tried for years to measure Obama's popularity in various ways, from rating how likable he is to how strong of a leader he is considered to whether people think he understands their problems. They even ask if people want to have a beer with him.
Whether he would lose in a rematch today with the guy who made the "47 percent" comment is another way to test whether and how much Obama's brand has faded since November 2012.
What's most notable, though, is that it's not really all that surprising that he would lose to Romney; after all, his approval rating has been stuck in the low 40s for a while. Indeed, it probably would be more surprising if Obama somehow were still in this lead.
There's also the fact that Romney benefits from not having to, you know, actually campaign or govern -- and the fact that Romney still trails Hillary Clinton by 13 points in a hypothetical 2016 matchup. In other words, it's not like this is a sign of big GOP momentum heading into 2016.
All of this is important context.
The poll is a data point with nominal value that should be taken as such. It's like surveys comparing Congress to head lice or to Nickelback -- or the recent poll that showed Darth Vader is more popular than potential GOP presidential candidates.
Will Americans be forced to choose between Congress and Nickelback? It seems unlikely. Will Darth Vader give Chris Christie a run for his money in Iowa? Probably not.
But those comparisons at least put an interesting spin on what is otherwise a pretty boring set of questions that are asked over and over again and show the same things: that Congress is terrible and that the GOP presidential race is wide open.
This new Obama-Romney poll is perfectly fine to be viewed in this less-than-serious light. But, again, it's not even all that surprising.
Moral of the story: Polls can be interesting, but for the most part their interest is found in their dumbness.
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