You might say, “So what?”
And I’d be inclined to agree with you. Polls, especially this far ahead of the game, are not all that meaningful.
But I’m still drawn to talking about them, because they can indicate trends. And they’re all we’ve got to measure public opinion, other than anecdotal evidence culled from our own small circle of personal observations.
So on that score I’ll note that the Fox News poll (already invalidated, in the eyes of Obamaphiles, by its source) from 4/9-11 has Romney leading Obama by two points—which is within the margin of error—among registered voters. It’s got a few more interesting findings, including the fact that the voters think Romney would be better on the economy.
But there’s a huge flaw in the poll that leapt out at me when I looked at the numbers: it doesn’t give the breakdown of Republicans and Democrats. What it does is ask the respondents whether they were more likely to vote (or had already voted) in the Democratic or Republican primaries. This year, voting in the Democratic primaries is pretty much a meaningless act, and not many people are bothering. The Republican primaries, on the other hand, have been hard-fought, and have been drawing many Independents and Democrats as well. Of those interviewed, 41% said they were more likely to vote in the Republican primaries and 35% the Democratic, but that certainly doesn’t mean that was the proportion of Republicans to Democrats in the poll. But without knowing the actual proportions, the poll is even more meaningless than most polls.