Spinning the Game
Screw the polls. Remember one thing the Repubs are good at is at setting expectations. Rove in particular is good at setting the bar so his candidate is looks great even when he is barely breaking even. Steve explained the strange poll numbers here and here. Ruy Teixeira also writes about the problems with these poll numbers and tells you why they are way out of line.
So think about it. Who benefits if Bush is seen to be gaining momentum? What do these stories do to the other story that was so prevalent before the RNC convention, which was that Bush couldn't come back? It sets the mojo on Bush's side. It makes Kerry look like he is the loser. And remember, these guys think that perception is all that counts. If you believe that Bush is ahead, this story, even if it is false, immediately puts him in front.
Remember the 2000 election? All the news before the election was that Bush was ahead in the popular vote. There were stories about what would be the response if he won the popular vote yet lost the electoral college vote. That didn't happen, but it was certainly the conventional thinking of the day. Not because it was true, but because it was the message that set the meme of the day. Well, the poll stories today are the "meme", yet both Steve and Ruy showed that the meme is deceptive and Kerry is doing much better than the polls indicate. Rove's job is to discourage you and to make you believe Kerry can't win. He hopes this keeps you from voting and he knows that the undecided voters break for the candidate that appears to be in front. Don't you believe this election is over. It is Bush's election to lose, and all it takes is everyone getting out to vote and getting their friends and families out to vote to toss that incompetent SOB out and back to Crawford, TX. No matter what, Bush is toast. Rove is just trying to spin the game once more.