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Quick Take on Florida Q Poll

It didn't take long following the release of the Florida Q poll for my phone to blow up this morning. Before I get into the poll, there are a few facts important to remember.

1. Polls right now are meaningless. At this point in the 2008 cycle, the Real Clear Politics average had McCain up 8 over Obama, and about a month ago, another poll showed Obama up 5 over Romney. They will ebb and flow, but in the end don't really matter now, because...

2. We know Florida is going to come down to a few points. Add up 32 million Florida votes over the 5 Presidentials from 1992-2008 and less than 60,000 votes separate the two major political parties.

So, about the poll.

First, it is important to keep in mind Florida's registered and likely voter make-up.

Here in Florida, roughly 40% of voters are Democratic, 36% are Republican and the rest are minor or no party affiliated. Furthermore, about 67% of voters are white and roughly 13% are African-American (or Caribbean American) and the same are Hispanic.

In terms of what the electorate will look like on election day in 2012, by my estimate is it will be roughly 42% Democratic, 40% Republican and 18% minor/NPA -- and using 2008 as a bit of a guide, roughly 70% white, 13% African American (or Caribbean American) and 12-13% Hispanic.

The Q poll, which gave Mitt Romney a 6 point lead, weighed out at 37% Republican, 29% Democratic and 29% Independent. It also landed at over 80% white, 8% Hispanic and 7% African America and Caribbean American. There is no scenario where the Florida votes will look like this on Election Day 2012.

In fact, if you go back to the last Q poll, which had the race 44-43 Romney earlier this month, that poll also had a bizarre electorate make-up of about 32R-30D-28NPA, again a scenario that is simply not going to happen on Election Day.

On its face, the simple fact that their sample is 6 points more Republican than the last one will show a significantly bigger GOP lead. One other little critique: They polled over six days, which in politics is a lifetime, not a snapshot.

All other things being equal, if you take all the rest of the internals on their face, which in fairness, given their African-American and Hispanic samples, is a little hard to do, and you simply re-weigh their counts with a reasonable Election Day turnout model, you end up with a 46-44 race, which is by polling definition, a dead heat.

So there you go. Florida, Florida, Florida.

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