Hey look: a word cloud of ATL reader comments regarding the election

Most national polling data on the presidential race shows an essentially dead heat between the Kenyan communist and the plutocrat in magical underpants. The president seems to have a lead in the electoral college race, and Romney appears to have a slight edge in the overall count, but this may just be statistical noise. Any and all recent movement in the data is well within the margin of error. Nobody can say with a straight face that they really have a solid grasp of where things stand.

Last week, we asked our readers for their take on the election: who is going to win? who are you going to vote for? And so forth. In stark contrast to the national polls, the ATL readership predicts an absolute landslide. Read on for the results…

A recent average of the the various national polling organizations’ data by realclearpolitics.com shows less than one percentage point separating the candidates. Yet among the ATL readers, the President is crushing his challenger 57% to 36%:

The most pro-Obama cohort of ATL readers are public interest attorneys, with 72% declaring in favor of the the president. Obama enjoys a majority among all categories of our readership, although his support is weakest among law firm associates, who support him by a bare 51% majority. (Partners and counsel favor Obama by 59%.)

Putting aside personal preferences, on the question of who our readers think will actually win, the disparity is even more striking. Even among Romney voters, there appears to be little real hope that Mitt will win. Though only 57% of the ATL audience will be voting for Obama, a whopping 71% expect him to win a second term.

We had well over 2,000 responses to our poll–only 1% of you self-identified as one of those near-mythical “Undecided Voters.” Of that 1%, we asked, “Please explain how you could possibly be undecided.” A few representative comments are below. There weren’t a lot to choose from.

Choosing between Romney and Obama is like choosing which turd sandwich you want to eat for dinner… I’d rather go hungry.


I agree with everything Obama stands but do not have confidence in his ability to turn around the job market and the economy. I’m also pretty closely tied to Wall Street and the success of the financial sector, and fear what Obama might do to the perception of successful, rich financiers.

Not a fan of Obama’s policies against wealth, nor of Romney’s uncertainty.

Most ATL readers have had their minds made up for a while. However, the selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate appears to have larger positive effect on Romney’s supporters than Obama’s winning, by most accounts, two of the three debates. 44% of Romney supporters said they were more likely to vote for Romney because of the selection of Ryan:

On the other hand, only 21% of Obama supporters said the same of the debate outcomes:

The contrast between these two sets of responses suggest that, among our readers, support for Romney is less longstanding than that for Obama. The Obama supporters seem to have had less a need to find a reason.


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