The Question of the Hour, Or, Why Are the Polls So Screwy This Year?

Today on RealClearPolitics, Sean Trende:

Given what we know about how individual states typically lean with respect to the popular vote, a Republican enjoying a one-point lead nationally should expect a three-to-four-point lead in Florida, a two-to-three-point lead in Ohio, and a tie in Iowa. Instead we see Romney ahead by roughly one point in Florida, and down by two in Ohio and Iowa.

Why are the polls so screwy? Trende’s own analysis is worth reading in full, and Rob, James, Troy and I spent much of the hour on the podcast we recorded this morning–with the able assistance of Ricochet members, and political professionals, Adam Schaeffer and Rick Wilson–trying to figure it out.

But here’s the short answer:

Nobody knows.